A man has died following a suspected shark attack at Tuncurry on the NSW Mid North Coast.
At about 11.20am, emergency services were called to Tuncurry Beach and found a man suffering critical injuries to his upper right thigh after being attacked while surfing with three friends.
The man, believed to be in his 50s, was pulled from the water and officers from Manning-Great Lakes Police District assisted by a retired paramedic commenced CPR; however, he died at the scene.
Police told AAP the man spotted the shark before it latched on, leaving him with horrific injuries to his upper thigh.
"When the attack occurred the man did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others" Superintendent Christopher Schilt told reporters.
"Very heroically his friends were able to bring him back into shore after he had been attacked."
Tuncurry Beach and Forster Main Beach were closed.
The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter as well as Surf Life Saving Lower North Coast callout team, duty officer Brian Wilcox, RWC (jetski) and drone were tasked to the incident to assist authorities and the the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said they received a call just before 11.15am on Tuesday, May 18.
The spokesperson said the man had significant injuries to his upper leg. Four ambulance crews provided support.
"Bystanders, including a retired paramedic, did a valiant job pulling the patient from the water and commencing CPR before paramedics arrived. These people should be commended for their brave actions," Inspector Joshua Smyth of NSW Ambulance said.
"Paramedics and police worked well together in what was a confronting scene in difficult terrain.
"Our sympathies are with the man's family at this difficult time."
Police will be working with the DPI to identify the species responsible.
Initial investigations by DPI shark scientists have determined it was likely a white shark.
A tagged great white shark was spotted off Forster's main beach only days ago.
April-May also marks the annual mullet run off the coast.
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