17-year-old Ballina surfer Cooper Allen has bravely made his own way to shore after being bitten by what some reports are calling a large great white shark this morning at Ballina’s North Wall surf spot – at Lighthouse Beach.
Witnesses say he was surfing with a group of about a dozen or so surfers at the time of he incident, which occurred just before 9am this morning.
Not long after, a NSW Department of Primary Industries aerial team spotted what they have reported as a 3.5m great white shark at the beach, and assisted a NSW life saving the team who reportedly “ushered” the shark back out to sea.
It is not know if this was the same shark that had bitten Cooper Allen however Norther Star online reports that, “Authorities have examined bite marks on Cooper’s leg and on his surfboard and are reasonably confident that he was attacked by a great white shark.”
Cooper is reported to be in a stable condition at Ballina hospital.
This shark was spotted at the surf break by helicopter shortly after the incident // Photo via NSW DPI
Cooper Allen // Photo via Facebook
Surf Lifesaving jetski teams usher the suspect shark back out to sea // Photo via NSW DPI
EARLIER: It has now been reported that the teenager has suffered severe lacerations to his right thigh and hip area in the encounter, which took place just before 9am this morning at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach.
The boy, believed to be 17 years of age, has been rushed to Ballina hospital for treatment.
According to an official police statement, “The youth made his way out of the water and was assisted by a nurse who was at the beach. He sustained a single bite wound to his hip and was taken to Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition.”
The scene on the beach this morning at the Ballina North Wall // Photo Helen Cameron via Twitter @helenlovesfood
All beaches within the Ballina area will remain closed for the next 24 hours.
The species of shark and specific circumstances are not yet known.
Beaches in the area remain closed this morning // Photo Helen Cameron via Twitter @helenlovesfood
All beaches in the area have been closed for at least 24 hours and whilst the extent of the boy’s injury is unknown. It is since understood the Westpac helicopter has been called.