A teenage surfer is recovering in hospital after being mauled by a great white shark off Ballina. The attack has re-ignited the debate about shark nets.

Laura Rowan reports.


17-year-old Cooper Allen is recovering at Lismore Base Hospital after a shark believed to be a three and a half meter Great White bit him on the upper thigh leaving four huge gashes.

Despite Cooper’s traumatic ordeal yesterday he’s in good spirits posing for photos and smiling with his family.

Cooper’s mates have been by his bed side keeping him smiling while he recovers.

Harrison, Friend: “He’s good now. He just got out of surgery yesterday should be alright his leg is all stitched up and bandaged. He’s a little shocked but he should be alright

After an extensive patrol this morning, Lighthouse Beach at Ballina has reopened but there are drones on the lookout and new drumlines in place.

Further north Lennox Head remains closed after another shark was sighted in the area.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has offered Queensland’s help.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, Qld Premier: “I think the time has come where shark nets and drum lines are extended from QLD beaches into northern NSW. We have the technology, we have the skills”.

Ballina Mayor David Wright says he’s already talking with the State Government about shark detection to avoid any more incidents.

Laura Rowan
QUT News