Third Shark Attack in a Month

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A shark badly injured a teenage boy while he was surfing with his father at a popular Sydney beach Sunday, police said, the third shark attack in Australia’s largest city in a month.

The 15-year-old boy and his father were in the water off Avalon on Sydney’s popular northern beaches around dawn when he was attacked.

“Half an hour later the father heard a scream and turned to see his son thrashing about in the water. Fortunately the shark swam away and the boy was helped to shore by his father,” police said in a statement.

The teen-ager was airlifted to hospital for treatment for leg injuries. Police said the bites “cut through to the bone” but the boy did not appear to have sustained any fractures.

Several beaches were closed after the attack. Water police and lifeguards were searching for the shark, while police hoped to identify its species by the shape of the bite marks.

Many shark species live in the waters off Sydney’s popular beaches, but attacks on humans are still relatively rare.

However, there were two attacks on successive days last month, one on a navy diver in Sydney harbour and another on a surfer at the city’s world-famous Bondi beach.

Fishermen say shark numbers are on the rise. Marine experts say environmental protection has created a cleaner environment which is attracting sharks closer to shore as they chase fish.

Many shark species, including the Great White, are protected in Australian waters.