Colin Rowland, 65, was attacked by a great white shark, reportedly 3.5-metre long Thursday morning. Colin was bitten three times after which he managed to swim across the shore and seek help. He was later airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital. The high-spirited man exclaimed “living the dream” and gave two thumbs up while he was being wheeled to the hospital.
Rowland’s son Tim has told The Daily Telegraph that his father is a keen surfer and has been surfing since the age of 16. “So Dad was out in the water and apparently it was strange there was a bunch of dolphins that came up and were sitting really close to the guys and in a tight pack, really close to them, and they thought ‘this is weird,'" Tim said.
“My Dad’s mate Greg caught a wave in and about 10 dolphins went beneath him all the way in and he thought it was really strange. And (then Greg) looked back and saw the shark coming up behind Dad … he saw Dad go five to six feet into the air.”
The shark chomped Colin's arm when he tried to repel it back using his board. The shark snapped his board in two and dragged him under by the leg rope. Graham Nickerson from Westpac rescue service said, “He's got pretty severe lacerations to his lower limbs.”
After the incident took place, the government has closed the beach until further notice and has ordered to setup smart drumlines in the region.
Recent shark attacks
On Sep. 26, 17-year-old Cooper Allen was attacked by a shark at the Lighthouse Beach of Ballina.
On Sep. 4, 2015, 65-year-old David Quinlivan suffered severe ankle injuries after being mauled by a shark at Black Head Beach near Forster.
On Feb. 9, 2015, Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara was killed by a great white shark at Shelly Beach near Ballina.