Shark Attacks Man Off Tourist Beach in Eastern Australia

A 30-year-old man is undergoing surgery after being attacked by a shark in eastern Australia.

Queensland Ambulance Service said the attack took place shortly before lunchtime in waters off Rosslyn Bay, a resort popular with tourists visiting southern parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

The man was spearfishing when he was engulfed by a school of mackerel and was attacked head on by the shark, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing paramedics. He fought off the shark and, despite suffering lacerations to his arms and legs, returned to his boat and was helped back to harbor by a passing coast guard, according to the report.

There were 22 unprovoked shark attacks in Australian waters last year, one of them fatal, according to data compiled by the Taronga Conservation Society. Most took place in New South Wales, which neighbors Queensland, and authorities there have stepped up aerial surveillance using drones to ease the concerns of beachgoers.

There are 165 shark species in Australian waters including the great white, tiger and bull shark. None are thought to target people and specialists say attacks occur when a shark confuses swimmers, surfers and divers with its usual prey.

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