Lee Jonsson, of East Ballina, was attacked by a shark at Shelly Beach, Ballina.
Lee Jonsson, of East Ballina, was attacked by a shark at Shelly Beach, Ballina.

Shark attack victim to have more surgery

UPDATE, Thursday, 3.25pm: A MAN attacked by a shark at Ballina yesterday remains in hospital.

A Northern NSW Local Health District spokeswoman said 43-year-old Lee Jonsson had undergone preliminary surgery to his wound and would have further surgery tomorrow.

He was bitten by a juvenile white shark at Shelly Beach, Ballina about 7am yesterday.

"He remains in a stable condition," the spokeswoman said.

"He is feeling better day by day."

She said it was unclear when he was expected to be discharged from hospital.


UPDATE, Wednesday, 5pm: THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has identified a white shark was responsible for the incident at Shelly Beach, Ballina.

DPI shark biologists have measured the shark tooth imprints on the surfboard and believe the shark involved was a juvenile white shark of around 2.6 metres in total length.

DPI is assisting NSW Police in responding to the incident, where  43-year-old Lee Jonsson, who was surfing, was bitten on his calf.


UPDATE, 2.50pm: THE victim of this morning's shark attack has been identified as 43-year-old Lee Jonsson.

A Northern NSW Local Health District spokeswoman said Mr Jonsson was being admitted overnight at Lismore Base Hospital.

"He remains in a stable condition," she said.

Lee Jonsson, of East Ballina.
Lee Jonsson, of East Ballina.

The East Ballina man initially drove himself to Ballina Hospital after being bitten by a shark while surfing at Shelly Beach, Ballina about 7am this morning.

It's understood he suffered a 20cm wound as a result of the attack, in which he defended himself with his surfboard.

Mr Jonsson and his family are not expected to make any public statement about the incident today.

UPDATE, 12.40pm: EMERGENCY services will continue to monitor the situation on Ballina's beaches throughout today and tomorrow after this morning's shark attack at Shelly Beach.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast duty officer, Chris Samuels, said they would reassess tomorrow morning whether a 24-hour closure of all of the shire's beaches would need to be extended.

Mr Samuels said there would be an "ongoing evaluation throughout the day".

He said windy conditions had seen their surveillance drone grounded.

"At the moment the wind's picking up so the drone has been grounded," he said.

"Conditions have deteriorated a bit."

He said the Surf Life Saving jetski and Ballina Jet Boat had been on the water patrolling the beach.

Mr Samuels urged all residents to adhere to the beach closures and to phone Triple 0 in the case of any marine emergency.

The species of the shark involved is not known.

The Department of Primary Industries has been approached for comment.


UPDATE 11.15am: POLICE say the area near Shelly Beach at Ballina will be surveyed by drones and jet skis after a man was bitten there by a shark this morning.

About 6.45am, a 43-year-old local man was surfing at the beach when he was bitten on the left calf by a shark.

Police said the bite was not life threatening.

Officers from Richmond Police District attended the beach and liaised with Surf Life Saving NSW. Jet skis and a drone have been deployed to survey the area.

Shelly Beach and surrounding beaches have been closed for 24 hours.

Officers seized the surf board and are liaising with Department of Primary Industries to identify the species.

Beachgoers are urged to follow safety advice, by visiting the Department of Primary Industry's website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/sharks and the SharkSmart app.


Original story: ALL beaches in the Ballina Shire have been closed for 24 hours after a shark attack this morning.

It is understood the victim suffered a 20cm wound in the attack, which happened at Shelly Beach, Ballina, just after 7am.

The victim has been taken to Ballina Hospital for treatment for a bite to his left calf.

A Northern NSW Local Health District spokeswoman said the 43-year-old East Ballina man was in a stable condition.

Ballina Mayor David Wright, who is on scene at Shelly Beach, said a 42-year-old man from East Ballina was surfing when he was attacked by a shark.

"He said he was bitten on the leg by a 5ft shark which pulled him off the board," Cr Wright said.

"He said he tried to hit the shark with board.

"He has an 8 inch cut on his leg and has now been taken to Lismore Base Hospital to have the wound cleaned."

Cr Wright said he was unsure if the SMART drumlines were currently out in the water.

"This is just one of those things we urge people to take care," he said.

Surf Life Saving New South Wales are asking people to stay out of the water and avoid the beach.

Spokeswoman Donna Wishart said they were informed a man in his 40s took himself to hospital at Ballina this morning after a shark attack.

"We understand the man had lacerations and a bite on his calf," she said.

"Police and council have asked us to close the beach so our lifeguards are on site until DPI officers can investigate."

Ms Wishart said SLS NSW would also be monitoring the other Ballina beaches.

"Our drone operators will hit the skies to see if they can locate anything," she said.

"In the meantime we ask people to avoid going into the water at Ballina."

The shark attack comes days after a Victorian doctor died from his injuries when he was mauled by a shark in Queensland's Whitsunday Islands.

Doctor Daniel Christidis, 33, died from bites to his left thigh, right calf and left wrist in the attack at Cid Harbour at dusk on Monday.

It's the third serious shark attack at Cid Harbour in two months with locals and holiday makers in the Whitsundays warned not to swim in the area.

Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick and 12-year-old Melbourne girl Hannah Papps survived after being bitten on consecutive days in September.