Authorities will investigate whether a dead tiger shark caught in a net off a Gold Coast beach is the one that killed a surfer in the same waters on Tuesday night.
Nick Slater, 46, was fatally mauled at about 5pm on Tuesday off popular Greenmount Beach, on the Gold Coast tourist strip, in a rare attack where swimmers are protected by shark netting.
His death is only the second fatal shark attack at one of Queensland’s 85 beaches that have been protected by nets and drum lines since 1962, the state government said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a large tiger shark had been found since Slater’s death tangled in a net off Greenmount Beach.
‘Further investigations will be conducted to discover if there is any link between it and the fatal attack,’ Palaszczuk told state parliament.
Australian star surfer Mick Fanning – who narrowly escaped being mauled by a great white shark in South Africa in 2015 – contacted a teenage ‘grommet’ surfer who was metres away from Tuesday’s attack and shaken up by the horrific scenes.
Longboard rider Nick Slater, 46, was mauled to death by a shark on the Gold Coast on Tuesday
Surf cameras captured the moment Mr Slater was killed by a great white shark at a netted Gold Coast beach in the first fatal attack in the region since 1958
Mick Fanning pictured being attacked by a shark during the JBay Open in South Africa in 2015. The star surfer reportedly contacted a young surfer who was metres away from Tuesday’s mauling to give him words of comfort
‘The kid was freaked out by what had happened,’ a surfing insider told the Courier-Mail.
‘So Mick reached out to him and had a chat and told him to take it easy and that he doesn’t have to rush straight back out in the water if he doesn’t want to.
‘He told him it’s perfectly okay to be freaked out by something like that and to take it at your own pace.’
Before nets were put in place, the last fatal shark attack off a Gold Coast beach – 24 of which are now netted – was in 1958.
Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young said by the time lifeguards got out to Mr Slater to bring him back to shore he was likely already dead, Nine News reported.
The horrific mauling was captured by surf watch cameras and witnessed by at least one other rider.
Pictured: Mr Slater was was a real estate agent who lived in Miami on the Gold Coast
Mourners descended on Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning to pay their respects.
A Westpac Lifesaver Rescue helicopter was circling in the area after first light looking for sharks.
Beaches from Burleigh to Snapper Rocks have been closed and lifeguards are patrolling the waters on jet skis.
Thomas Richard Tate, Mayor of the Gold Coast, offered his condolences to Mr Slater’s family on Wednesday morning.
‘Last time we’ve had a shark attack is 1958, over 60 years ago,’ he told Today.
‘It doesn’t matter how long it has been, still a devastating shock to the community of the Gold Coast.’
The mayor said the beaches would remain closed until it is determined the shark is no longer in the vicinity.
Mr Slater is assisted by fellow surfers and beachgoers after he was bitten by a shark on Tuesday
Two women hug at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning, following the death of a surfer
Coastalwatch footage captured the moment a surfer brought the injured man to shore with the help of other beachgoers
Mr Tate said the shark attack was a reminder to all beachgoers to ‘look after your mates’.
‘I mean really it brings to reality, when we go off the land we go into water, it is the shark’s domain,’ he said.
Footage from a Swellnet surf camera shows Mr Slater sitting in the water at the end of the line-up before the shark grabs him and pulls him under.
Pictured: Lifeguards on jet skis search the water at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday
Water can be seen splashing around before the black silhouette of the shark swims away.
Some surfers just metres away seem oblivious to what is happening.
Mr Slater is then seen floating face down in the water before fellow board-riders drag him to shore.
The bite stretched from his upper thigh to his knee and a tooth from the predator remained lodged in his longboard.
A man walks along a boardwalk as Greenmount Beach is closed on Wednesday morning
Two surfers are seen walking near a ‘danger’ sign on Wednesday morning as beaches are shut from Burleigh to Snapper Rocks
Greenmount Beach will remain closed until it’s determined there are no longer sharks in the area
Coastalwatch footage showed the moment directly after the attack, when a surfer paddled the victim to shore with the help of other beachgoers.
Lifeguards were seen waiting on the sand before frantically working to treat the severe injury.
The water was evacuated as lifeguards attempted to save the victim.
Emergency crews rushed to the popular tourist spot but the real estate agent could not be saved.
Mr Slater, who was surfing alone, was pronounced dead minutes after they arrived.
Greenmount Beach was closed on Wednesday morning after a surfer was mauled by a shark on Tuesday
Greenmount Beach, located near the Queensland-New South Wales border, has shark control equipment surrounding it including nets
Surfer Jade Parker told 7News he first spotted a school of fish and up to 30 birds near the victim, which is what attracted the shark to the surfer.
He had been walking along the footpath near a lookout when he noticed some commotion in the water.
‘There were four or five people yelling and pointing at the water, and I looked out to where they were pointing and I spotted a board floating and a body was next to it,’ he said.
Mr Parker just assumed the surfer had been knocked out because he wasn’t moving so he ran down to the beach and swam to the victim, who was in waist deep water.
‘There were about three on the scene before me and they were all trying to drag him in with the board he had. I helped drag him into the beach as well.’
Surfer Jade Parker told 7News he first spotted a school of fish and up to 30 birds near the victim, which is what attracted the shark to the surfer
When they arrived on the sand lifeguards were waiting with a stretcher but Mr Parker said he was ‘pretty much gone’ by the time they arrived.
Mr Parker said the injury stretched from the ‘groin area to just below his knee’.
‘It was pretty much all taken… there was nothing there, it was just hanging there by not much,’ he said.
Two lifeguard vans are pulled up on the sand of Greenmount Beach as the sun rises on Wednesday morning
‘Honestly, I do not want to get to the gory parts but he was in a bad way. He was not conscious. It looked like he had already pretty much passed away at that point in time.’
Mr Parker added that the attack would not put him off surfing.
‘I know the sharks are always out there so I will just have to accept that fate,’ he said.
A woman sits on a rock and looks out to the water at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning
Queensland Ambulance Supervisor William Houghton said the man had been surfing with a few other gentlemen.
‘It was actually witnessed by one of the other surfers, they saw him being attacked by the shark,’ he said.
Mr Houghton said lifesavers provided first aid on the beach.
A sign at Greenmount Beach alerts swimmers and surfers that the beach is closed on Wednesday
‘It was a pretty traumatic event for everybody concerned,’ he said.
Greenmount Beach, located near the Queensland-New South Wales border, has shark control equipment including drum lines.
It is not yet known how the shark avoided the nets to get to the man.
Pictures show paramedics and lifeguards desperately tending to the man’s injuries in the back of a beach buggy.
A man walks past a sign declaring Greenmount Beach is closed on Wednesday morning
A lifeguard vehicle is seen parked on the sand as surfers leave Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning
Members of the public were seen holding up a sheet to cover him as he receives treatment for the bite.
The attack is the first on the Gold Coast since 2012, when a 20-year-old surfer was mauled at Nobby Beach.
It is the first fatal attack in the region in 62 years when Peter Gerard Spronk was killed in 1958.
He was mauled by a shark 250m off Surfers Paradise beach and died of his injuries despite lifesavers coming to his rescue.