Beaches in the Fingal Head area remained closed today following the shack attack on 31-year-old Brisbane man, Jonathon Beard, yesterday.

Experts believe Mr Beard was attacked by a 3.5m great white shark.

“Lifeguards at Fingal Beach decided to keep the beaches closed today following consultation with officials from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI),” North Coast lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said.

“Shortly after 1pm, there were several reports of a shark sighting at Fingal Beach but an extensive search of the area by rescue jet skis and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter failed to find any shark.

“Rescue teams did note that they saw several pods of dolphins close to shore in the same area as the alarm.

“Investigations have been undertaken by the biologist from the DPI today in an attempt to identify the type of shark involved in the attack.  

“The biologist and Tweed Lifeguard Supervisor, Scott McCartney, met with the victim and inspected his surfboard late this afternoon.

“Following the investigation undertaken today by the DPI, the Australian Lifeguard Service has been advised that the shark that attacked Mr Beard was a 3.5 metre great white shark.

“Mr Beard was able to tell us what occurred out in the water and we have been able to view pictures of the wound.

“We then inspected his surfboard and we could see very visible teeth impressions on the bottom deck of the board.”

The DPI biologist used a number of calculations and models to positively the type and size of the shark.

“Great white sharks are not known to linger and stay in one place for a long period of time and are more likely to continue moving on,” Mr Leahy said.

“Based on the advice of the DPI biologist and the fact that extensive aerial and sea searches over the last 24 hours have failed to find any sharks, the Australian Lifeguard Service has spoken with Tweed Shire Council late this afternoon and advised them that all beaches in the Fingal area will be reopened tomorrow morning.”