Stab Magazine | Surfer Dies After Shark Attack At Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta

Surfer Dies After Shark Attack At Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta

News shocks the community at the most crowded wave in the world.

news // Sep 8, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A surfer has been attacked and killed at Snapper Rocks at around 5pm this afternoon. 

The man is believed to be in his 50s and was bitten on the leg while surfing at Rainbow Bay, the section of the wave that sits below Snapper Rocks and before Greenmount.  

According to a source, surfers allegedly tried to help him to shore to resuscitate him and he had horrific leg injuries. “He was an older guy sitting wide at Greenie on a mal…”

This afternoon the waves were small and clean with a 10 knot SE blowing and the surfer was surfing the less-crowded Rainbow section of the wave closer to Kirra. “It was about two feet, the crowd was way thicker up at Snapper and Rainbow than down there” 

The beach is one of the many Gold Coast beaches with shark nets. Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries shark net program website details nets do “not provide an impenetrable barrier between sharks and humans” nor prevent sharks from entering any particular area. 

There has not been a shark attack on the Gold Coast since 2012. Queensland’s last fatal shark attack was in July off Fraser Island, when Matthew Tratt, 36, died while spearfishing near Indian Head.

Snapper Rocks is held in high regard in the surf community. It’s the opening event of the WSL’s world tour, is home to some of the world’s best surfers, and is one of the most crowded waves in the world. Given its density of surfers and proximity to the Tweed River, it has long been regarded by surfers, anecdotally at least given the lack of attacks, as being “not very sharky”.

“Everyone’s tripping,” said our source. “No one thinks of Snapper as being sharky. The whales have been in close recently but I’m not sure that has anything to do with it.”

This is the third death in this vicinity this year. Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was killed by a shark attack in Wooli a few hours south of Coolangatta on July 11. Rob Pedretti, 60, was killed by a great white shark on June 7 in Kingscliff, less than 15 kilometres south of today’s attack. 

2020 on the east coast of Australia is a bleak year for surfers and shark attack deaths.  

Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the victim. 


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