Beaches in northern NSW will remain closed as investigators look into a fatal shark attack that claimed the life of a teenage boy.
The 15-year-old has been named in media reports as Mani Hart-Deville, with the people who knew him remembering him as clever, artistic and a lover of the ocean.
He was attacked at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach, north of Coffs Harbour, just before 2.30pm on Saturday.
Board-riders helped the boy to shore and he was given first aid for serious leg injuries but died at the scene despite efforts to resuscitate him.
NSW Ambulance inspector Scott Acton said “no words” could describe the scene paramedics faced.
Beaches in the area, including Wooli, Diggers Camp and Minnie Water, are closed for 24 hours, with drones and jetskis operated on Sunday to assist investigations.
“Please do not enter the water in this region until further notice,” Surf Life Saving NSW posted on Twitter.
#Beaches are closed throughout the Clarence Valley for 24hrs after a fatal #shark attack near Wooli today. #Lifesavers will be operating #drones & jetskis tomorrow to assist @nswdpi investigations. Please do not enter the water in this region until further notice. @NSWSharkSmart pic.twitter.com/OWNsViluIU
— Surf Life Saving NSW (@slsnsw) July 11, 2020
Clarence Valley mayor Jim Simmons said visitors had flocked to the region for the school holidays and there would likely have been many people in the water who would have been shaken by the tragedy.
It is Australia’s fifth fatal shark attack this year.
Cr Simmons said the loss of such a young life was terribly shocking.
“What’s happened there this afternoon would shake everybody,” Mr Simmons told AAP.
“All of our sympathies, from people in the area, go out to the boy’s family.
“I just ask people to look out for their safety on the beaches.”
Last Saturday, a 36-year-old Sunshine Coast man was mauled while spearfishing off Queensland’s Fraser Island.
Last month, Gold Coast surfer Rob Pedretti, 60, died after he was attacked at Salt Beach at South Kingscliff in northern NSW.
A shark also killed 23-year-old Queensland wildlife ranger Zachary Robba in April off North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef.
Experienced diver Gary Johnson, 57, was killed by a shark near Cull Island in Esperance on Western Australia’s south coast in January.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.