A Byron Bay surfer was hospitalised on Sunday after an apparent shark attack left him bleeding and his board snapped in half on the NSW north coast.
The 35-year-old-man was surfing at Main Beach, Iluka, about 6.30am on Sunday when his board was hit hard from below by what he thinks was a shark.
The board snapped and he was thrown into the air.
“He’s told police the shark began to circle and then turned away,” police media said in a statement.
He then grabbed the pieces of his board and swam to shore.
One of Mr McGrath’s friends posted an image of his broken board to Instagram.
“Life could have been very different this morning,” he said.
“So stoked to still have our mate and not witness something far worse.”
He said Mr McGrath limped up the beach after the attack.
An image of the injury posted to Facebook showed Mr McGrath’s wetsuit torn at the hip, exposing a bleeding laceration.
Friends drove him almost 100 kilometres to Ballina District Hospital where he was treated before being sent to nearby Lismore Base Hospital.
Main and Bluff beaches were closed after the incident.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries said a shark biologist would assess the injury and try to determine the size and species of shark involved.
A second shark net trial for the region was announced this month for five beaches in Ballina, Lennox Head and Evans Head.
The department began deploying 25 drum lines daily, as well as drone and helicopter surveillance, in response to several incidents on the same stretch of coastline.