Great white shark kills 60-year-old surfer in Australia

Photo: Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service QLD

A 60-year-old surfer in Australia was attacked and killed by a 10-foot great white shark on Sunday as bystanders desperately fought off the predator, according to officials.

Surf rescue group Surf Life Saving New South Wales said in a statement the incident happened around 10:20 a.m. local time at Salt Beach in Kingscliff, located about 500 miles north of Sydney.

"The man received a bite to the back of his thigh and, despite the best efforts of nearby surfers and bystanders who fought off the shark and got the man to the shore and rendered first aid, the man died on the beach," the group said.

The man, who has not yet been identified, was from Tugun, just over the state border in Queensland.

“A shark biologist assessed photographs and confirmed a white shark was responsible for the fatal attack,” the state's Department of Primary Industries said.

NWS Ambulance Inspector Terence Savage said it was a “dreadful” situation for everyone involved.

“When you get a call to attend a shark attack, you never really know the full extent of the damage until you get on scene,” he said. “They did everything they could to try and save his life, but despite their best efforts, were unable to do so.”

Surf Life Saving NWS said it deployed multiple Jet Skis, a drone, and helicopter assets to help spot and identify the shark responsible for the attack and to clear the beach of surfers and swimmers.

Nearby beaches were cleared of swimmers and surfers and will remain closed for 24 hours.