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Surfer killed by ‘apparent white pointer’

A Gold Coast surfer was in a “bad way” and looked like he had died before he had left the water after an attack by “an obvious white pointer”, one of his rescuers says.

Local man Nick Slater was dragged from the water by fellow surfers and lifeguards at Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta late on Tuesday afternoon.

The 46-year-old real estate agent suffered serious leg injuries and was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene minutes after they arrived.

Jade Parker was getting ready to go out for a surf when he saw Mr Slater floating motionless next to his board in the line-up.

Mr Parker said he had seen a school of fish in the area and birds diving into the water at the time.

He waded into the water to help other surfers and lifeguards bringing Mr Slater in.

Mr Parker found a tooth lodged in Mr Slater’s board, which he said was from “an obvious white pointer”.

“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 told 7News.

He admitted he didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night but said he wouldn’t be staying out of the water.

“I cannot stop surfing. I know the sharks are always out there so I will just have to accept that fate,” Mr Parker said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate offered his condolences to Mr Slater’s family and friends, and the community, after the “devastating” attack.

He urged locals and visitors to stay out for the water, as lifeguards on jet skis and helicopters search for the shark and beaches remain closed from the NSW border to Burleigh Heads.

“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. The danger’s there,” Mr Tate said.

The beach has drum lines and is one of several on the Gold Coast with shark nets. It is the first fatal shark attack on the Gold Coast since a swimmer was killed at Surfers Paradise in 1958.

Mr Tate said he had spoken with Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner about the attack and said sonic shark deterrents could be considered.

He agreed the attack could damage the region’s struggling tourism industry and urged people yearning to swim to do so north of Burleigh.

“The phobia of a shark attack in the water, it’s real, it’s been boosted by Hollywood movies, but in reality there’s more fatalities on other things in life than shark attacks,” Mr Tate said.

Mr Slater’s death is the second fatal shark attack in Queensland in little more than two months after 36-year-old Matthew Tratt died while spearfishing off Fraser Island in early July.

In June, Gold Coast surfer Rob Pedretti, 60, died after he was mauled by a three-metre white shark at Salt Beach at South Kingscliff in northern NSW.

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