Man in hospital after being attacked by shark at Byron Bay

A man has been hospitalised following a shark attack in New South Wales. Source: Getty

A man is being treated for injuries to his leg after being attacked by a shark at a popular Byron Bay tourist beach.

The 41-year-old man was surfing near Belongil Beach about 6.40am on Sunday when he was bitten on the leg, police said in a statement.

The man from Suffolk Park returned to shore on his board and alerted other surfers about the attack.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being flown to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Belongil Beach and Main Beach have been closed for 24 hours.

Read more: Two injured following shark attack in Whitsundays

If you do happen to come across a shark, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. While your first instinct is probably to swim away as quickly as possible, it’s really important not to make any sudden movements.

This doesn’t mean playing dead (the shark will likely eat you anyway), but being smart about the movements you make. Your main priority will be defending yourself, so it’s important not to let the shark out of your sight.

If you do have to launch an attack, it’s best to try and aim for the shark’s eyes or gills. While it is said that you should always try and punch a shark on its nose, it’s best to aim for other areas first so you don’t accidentally get your hand bitten off. It’s also a good idea to use other objects to fight the shark where possible.

Read more: Should sharks be culled? Debate rages following death in Queensland

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