Surfer mauled to death by great white shark as horrified onlookers pull dying victim from water off Aussie coast

AN Aussie surfer was killed after being savaged by a great white shark despite the efforts of onlookers who pulled his bloodied body from the water.

The man, believed to be in his 50s, was attacked as he enjoyed the waves at Tuncurry Beach on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

It marks the country's first confirmed fatal shark attack this year.

The middle-aged victim suffered critical injuries to his upper right thigh, police said.

"When the attack occurred he did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others," Police Superintendent Christopher Schilt said.

Brave beachgoers pulled the man from the water and medics were called at around 11am on Tuesday morning.

The surfer was reportedly with three friends who helped drag him back to shore – before he tragically went into cardiac arrest.

NSW Ambulance inspector Joshua Smyth applauded onlookers who rushed to the man's aid – despite the deadly risk in the waters.

"Bystanders, including a retired paramedic, did a valiant job pulling the patient from the water and commencing CPR before paramedics arrived," he said.

Five ambulance teams were seen at the beach and paramedics were observed performing CPR on the man.

But "despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene", he was unable to be resuscitated, New South Wales Ambulance confirmed.

The victims identity has not yet been released.

After analysing photos of the bite, shark scientists from the NSW Department of Primary Industry have determined a great white shark around 4.5m in length is the likely species responsible.

A great white was reportedly detected near Main beach on Monday.

Beaches in the area have closed for at least 24 hours in the wake of the attack, described as"pretty unprecedented" by local lifesaver Brian Wilcox.

He told ABC TV: "I can’t recall ever having a shark attack in this area."

Drones have been deployed in the area as the DPI and police search for the killer shark.

The tragic incident is the first fatal shark attack Down Under this year, according to the Taronga Conservation Society.

A man was believed to have been killed by a shark back in January on the Limestone Coast after a torn wetsuit and slippers were found floating in the water.

The death of Duncan Crawe, 32, was not recorded as a shark-related demise as further investigations suggested he had died from an undisclosed medical source before his body was eaten.

Last year, nine people were killed in some 60 attacks across the globe – the highest figure since 2013.

Eight men and one woman, aged between 17 and 63, were killed by sharks in 2020.

Out of those nine, seven occurred in Australia alone – the country's highest number of shark fatalities in 86 years.

The two fatalities outside of Australia occurred in the US, in California and Maine.

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