A man died from a shark attack Tuesday at Byron Bay in the state of New South Wales on Australia's east coast, according to local authorities. More than six people have lost their lives to shark attacks in the country over the past two years.
The man, who was believed to be in his 30s, was reportedly attacked by a two-meter black-finned shark. Another person who saw the attack, paddled into the water, pulled the man to shore and tried to resuscitate him before two doctors reached to treat him, The Australian, a local newspaper reported. Police officials said that the man is believed to have died due to loss of blood from a bite on his right leg. Beaches in the area have reportedly been closed for 24 hours and people have been warned to stay away from the water.
“I just thought he may still be alive and I wanted to get him onto the shore,” Mark Hickey, a Newcastle-based lawyer who brought the attack victim ashore said, according to the Australian, adding: “It was really terrible; I just felt so bad for the guy and his family. I just wanted to do all I could to help him.”
The New South Wales police said, in a brief statement Tuesday: “(At) about 10.45 a man was dragged from the water suffering a significant injury to his leg," adding: "Police are speaking to a number of people at Main Beach to try to determine the identity of the man, believed to be in his 30s."
The latest incident is reportedly the sixth fatal attack in the country in two years. The last one was in April when a 63-year-old woman was taken away by a shark while she was swimming near Tathra Beach, about 220 miles south of Sydney, according to Daily Mail.
In January, the Australian government began a controversial three-month culling program following the rise in fatalities from shark attacks. Nearly 50 tiger sharks were killed between January 25 and April 30, and 172 sharks were caught under the program, CNN reported in May.