The man, in his 40s, is thought to have suffered a severe bite to his leg. He was spotted by other bathers, floating in shallow water, and was dragged ashore where efforts were made to revive him. However these failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
While the incident is likely to loom large in the minds of locals, it doesn’t alter the statistics for shark attacks too much. Overall, Australia has averaged around 2 shark attacks per year over the last decade. Byron Bay’s easterly location will also help it in this regard – Western Australia has a far worse record and was declared the world’s deadliest place for shark attacks in 2012, when there were calls for a government cull.
Given the popularity of Byron Bay for tourists, this latest attack will probably lead to an increase in monitoring of shark activity in the area.