A beachcam video shows the terrifying moment a surfer was fatally attacked by a shark which left a tooth and jaw marks in his board.
Nick Slater, 46, was dragged to shore by other surfers following the harrowing incident at Greenmount Beach, in Coolangatta, Queensland, on Tuesday evening local time.
A large tiger shark was then caught in nearby nets with further investigations underway to determine if it is the shark responsible for the attack, said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Swimmers and surfers are being urged not to go in the water from Burleigh to the New South Wales border until further notice – with the attack the first shark fatality in the area for more than 60 years.
Lifeguards on jet skis and a helicopter carried out searches for the shark along the stretch of coast the following morning.
Mr Slater – who was attacked at around 5pm – suffered severe leg wounds and died at the beach, despite the best efforts of first responders.
The footage of the attack and subsequent rescue were captured by a surf camera mounted on the popular beach.
One man who was in the water nearby told 9News his attention was first drawn to a large gathering of seagulls which he described as “unusual”.
“All of a sudden I heard this lady screaming,” he added.
Surfer Leo Cabral was filming his son, 13, when he “heard people yelling ‘shark, shark, shark”, he told the news broadcaster.
“I looked around and thought maybe it’s a dolphin. I looked again at my son and with my camera, I zoomed in next to him to his left and I saw a board and the guy was laying down in the water.”
Referring to Mr Slater, Ms Palaszczuk said: “I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of the man taken so tragically.”
Gold Coast Mayor Thomas Tate confirmed it was the first fatal attack in the area since 1958.
He added it was a “devastating shock to the community”.
The last shark attack on the Gold Coast was in 2012 when a 20-year-old surfer was bitten off Nobby Beach, further north of Coolangatta, but survived.
Tuesday’s incident has reignited the debate about the effectiveness of shark safety nets and drum lines.