DPI issues kill order for shark
UPDATE, 6.25pm: THE Department of Primary Industries has authorised a permit to destroy the shark believed responsible for an attack on Ballina man Mathew Lee.
NSW Police media confirmed a permit had been authorised by DPI to have the shark destroyed, but conceded the shark had not been sighted for several hours.
The spokeswoman said even if a four-metre great white was spotted, it would be extremely difficult to verify if it was the same shark.
She said the permit was issued in this instance but not in February because this time the shark was remaining in the area and causing a public safety risk.
UPDATE, 5.30pm: BALLINA man Mathew Lee is still in a critical condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital after being attacked by a shark this morning.
He sustained significant blood loss as a result of his injuries with two special units of emergency blood supply administered on board the rescue helicopter.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter winched a medical team onto the beach and shortly after transported the patient to the Gold Coast University Hospital.
UPDATE 1:45 pm: A large shark has been spotted in waters near Lighthouse Beach in Ballina.
Channel 9 News posted the aerial image of the shark to their Twitter account.
UPDATE 12.52pm: BALLINA Shire Council has closed all beaches in the Shire.
Jet boats and jet skis are patrolling the water and beach closure signage will be placed at all Shire beaches.
The community are reminded that the closures are enforceable and extend from Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head to South Ballina Beach, South Ballina.
Council will provide a further update this afternoon.
UPDATE 12.30pm: THE NSW Department of Primary Industries will commence an investigation into the size of species of shark responsible for this morning's attack.
Meanwhile, the body boarder victim of the attack remains in a critical condition.
Surf Life Saving NSW has reported the victim was pulled from the water by his friends suffering severe injuries to his lower leg as a result of the attack.
Lifesavers attended the scene along with police and paramedics who worked to stabilise the man.
"A local Duty Officer attended the scene along with other lifesaving assets including inflatable rescue boats and jet skis to assist with clearing the water and will continue to assist in monitoring the area," Australian Lifeguard Service NSW Coordinator Brent Manieri said.
Mr Manieri said all beaches across Ballina Shire would remain closed for the next 24 hours in line with standard procedure.
"A decision on when to reopen will be made in due course in consultation with all stakeholders."
UPDATE 11.40am: POLICE have said the victim of today's shark attack at Lighthouse Beach was a 32-year-old bodyboarder, not a 25-year-old as previously reported by NSW Ambulance Media.
He is currently in a critical condition.
Just after 10am, NSW Police Media said, the 32-year-old local was body boarding with two friends when he was bitten by a shark, suffering significant injuries to his lower legs.
His friends assisted him to shore and contacted emergency services.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics and it is anticipated he will be airlifted to Gold Coast Hospital.
Local lifesavers are conducting patrols of the area.
Light House Beach, and all beaches within Ballina Shire, are closed for the next 24 hours.
Police will be liaising with Surf Lifesaving, Ballina Shire Council and Department of Primary Industries regarding the incident.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
UPDATE 11.23am: BALLINA mayor David Wright is at the scene of the attack.
He heard about the shark attack while helping to set up for the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open, a junior surfing event due to start at Lennox Head tomorrow.
It is not yet known whether the event will go ahead.
Cr Wright said the council and police had closed all the beaches.
"To hear this … it's really difficult," he said.
"There are jet boats out at the moment having a look for the shark."
UPDATE 11.10am: A SHARK suspected to be responsible for an attack on a 25-year-old man just off North Wall at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina this morning has been spotted just off the beach by the crew of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter during their landing approach.
Lighthouse Beach has been closed.
UPDATE 10.55am: THE 25-year-old shark attack victim is being transported to the Gold Coast Hospital by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter in a critical condition.
It's understood the man sustained extensive blood loss and now paramedics are fighting to save his life.
UPDATE 10.48am: AN ambulance media spokeswoman confirmed paramedics received a call shortly before 10am to reports that a 25-year-old male had sustained leg injuries in a shark attack at Lighthouse Beach at Ballina.
Paramedics and the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter are on scene and treating the man now.
A report on the man's condition is expected shortly.
UPDATE 10.38am: POLICE media have confirmed that a man has been attacked by a shark at Lighthouse Beach near North Wall.
Various media outlets are reporting that the man is aged 25.
INITIAL REPORT 10.27am: THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has been tasked to Lighthouse Beach in Ballina following reports of a shark attack in the vicinity of the North Wall.
Various media outlets are reporting that a man in his 20s is involved.
More to come.