Region rocked but ‘we’ll get back in water’
SURFERS say they will return to the water as soon as possible, despite a fatal great white shark attack which has rocked Tweed coastal communities.
Coolangatta spearfisherman and keen surfers David Howell and Tom Brown said they had recently spotted bull sharks in the area.
The pair said yesterday reports a 3m long great white shark was responsible for the death of a Tugun man, a 60-year-old surfer, at Salt Beach, Kingscliff, about 10am was "confronting".
"I've seen quite a few bull sharks, but not many great whites close," Mr Howell said.
"It's just the time of year. Always a lot of bait around causing it."
Nevertheless, the pair said they would be back in the water for a surf as soon as they could.
"We'll be a bit closer in, probably," Mr Howell said
Mr Brown added: "Not spearfishing, but I'll probably go surfing still.
"You have your wits about you when you're out there," he said.
The mates were spearfishing south at Hastings Point when they were told about the attack.
"We came in and a guy straight away came up to us and asked 'did you hear about the guy getting attacked by the shark?'," Mr Howell said.
"It took us by surprise. It's surprising and it's rare. Confronting it's so close to home."
Lifesavers, surfers and residents out and about at Salt Beach today were reeling.
While shark attacks have been recorded at Ballina, Byron Bay and other northern NSW beaches in recent times, the Tweed had been spared until Sunday's fatal incident.
Kingscliff's Steve Leslie, out for a motorbike ride with his wife, said the "terrible" attack was "gutting" and two men who dragged the victim to shore after the mauling were "heroes".
"We don't really have shark attacks in the Tweed. I don't think anyone has been hit up here in a while," he said.
"I used to surf all the time all along here and I never saw a shark. But apparently no one saw this one either. They're usually the bad ones - you don't see them, they just hit.
"Two blokes fought it off and brought him in, we've heard. Bleeding body and a shark in the water. You need a hero for that."
Mr Leslie offered his condolences to the victim's family and friends.
Tweed residents took to popular Tweed Facebook page Kingscliff Happenings to pay tribute to the Tugun man.
"So incredibly sad. We all feel for his friends and family. A truly terrible thing," one woman wrote.
Originally published as Region rocked but 'we'll get back in water'