Great white blamed for fatal attack on surfer in Australia

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2015 11:02 PM

SYDNEY (AP) — A shark that killed a Japanese surfer off Australia's east coast was a great white 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) long, police said Wednesday.

Tadashi Nakahara, 41, was surfing off Shelly Beach in the New South Wales town of Ballina on Monday when a shark came up behind him and tore off his legs. Nakahara's friends, who were surfing nearby, rushed him to shore and tried to administer first aid, but he quickly bled to death.

Experts determined the shark responsible was a great white, New South Wales police said.

The attack came one day after another man was bitten by a shark while surfing off a beach just 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the north.

Officials closed beaches in the area and have been searching for the shark that killed Nakahara. But by Wednesday, there had been no sign of the animal.

Given that the shark was unlikely to have remained in the immediate area, beaches were expected to reopen as soon as rough surf conditions had eased, police said.

Nakahara had been living in the area before the attack. He was an avid surfer who worked at a local surf shop and as a cleaner at a hotel, Ballina Mayor David Wright said.

Sharks are common off Australia's beaches, but fatal attacks are rare. The country has averaged fewer than two deadly attacks per year in recent decades.