Beaches south of Forster around the Booti Booti and Pacific Palms area have been closed for at least the next 24 hours after a surfer sustained injuries when he was bitten by a shark on Thursday morning.
The 65-year old man who is understood to be a local was surfing at Booti Booti at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach when he encountered the shark at around 9:30am.
Following reports of the incident from police, the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre tasked lifesaving assets including a duty officer, support jetski, and the volunteer callout team to attend the scene.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter based in Newcastle also attended and it was found that the man had suffered lacerations to his foot and hand.
Due to the isolation of the area the man was transported by road to the local bowling club where he was transferred to the helicopter and airlifted to hospital.
As a result of this morning’s incident Seven Mile Beach, Elizabeth, Boomerang, and Blueys Beaches have all been closed.
Warnings signs have been erected by National Parks and Wildlife personnel and lifeguards while the public are strongly urged to avoid swimming in the area today.
A decision on when to reopen the beaches will be made in consultation with stakeholders including MidCoast Council, Police, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Primary Industries tomorrow (Friday).
The species of the shark involved is not known and the matter has been referred to the NSW Department of Primary Industries for further investigation.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter air crewman Graham Nickisson reported the shark was a great white, and came up underneath his board and snapping it in half.
A DPI shark biologist will assess photographs of the man’s wounds to try to determine the species responsible for the attack.
DPI continue to work with NSW Police and SLS to monitor the area and provide any technical advice and resources as required.
Beachgoers are advised to follow the NSWSharkSmart Twitter feed or download the SharkSmart app for the latest information on shark movements and sightings.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is enroute to Booti Booti National Park where a man has been reportedly bitten by a shark.
The service’s Barry Walton said the man is believed to be aged around 65 years.
Booti Booti is south of Forster.
The man was near the ruins caravan park at Booti Booti when he was attacked. He has suffered severe lower limb injuries.
The rescue service has picked up the patient at the Pacific Palms Bowling Club and will be flown to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.
Police said that the man was surfing at Seven Mile Beach at around 9.20am when he was bitten by what is believed to be a shark.
The man swam to shore and contacted emergency services. The surfer received puncture wounds to his foot and his arm.
The man was treated by NSW Ambulance Paramedics and airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.
Due to the incident, Booti Booti, Boomerang and Elizabeth Beaches have been closed.
Officers from Manning/Great Lake Local Area Command are working with officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and NSW Surf Life Saving.