Dawn surfer oblivious to attack: ‘Where is everyone?’

 

The fatal shark attack on surf-loving Gold Coaster Nick Slater at popular Greenmount Beach cast an eerie feeling across the stretch of sand the next morning and at nearby Snapper Rocks.

Some shrugged it off and went in despite Beach Closed signs, one was oblivious to what had happened and wondered why it was so quiet while others headed down but stayed out of the water either due to "respect" or being "spooked".

Surfers disobey BEACH CLOSED signs at Snapper Rocks after Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at Greenmount point in Coolangatta. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Surfers disobey BEACH CLOSED signs at Snapper Rocks after Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at Greenmount point in Coolangatta. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

BEACHES CLOSED AS SHARK VICTIM NAMED

Local surfer Josh Hannant wasn't aware of the fatality just 12 hours earlier when he rocked up for a few waves at 5.30am on Wednesday.

The brother of rugby league player and radio show host Ben Hannant said he got in his three-hour session at Snapper before having to pick up bread for the kids and get ready for work

"When I turned up no one was around. I took a snap for a mate and said 'Look at this, there's no one here'," Josh said.

'LOVED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM': FRIEND'S TRIBUTE TO SHARK ATTACK VICTIM

"Another onlooker told me the beach was shut because of a shark attack further down. When another surfer said he's going in I went in too. It was just the two of us for about an hour, which is very unusual for this spot."

Police patrol buggies, lifeguards on jet skis and a handful of surfers later occupied the otherwise quiet beaches.

A group of surfers at Coolangatta were told to leave at 7.30am by police but down at the popular Snapper Rock break, the number of riders was growing by the minute.

Flowers have been left at the scene of Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at Greenmount point. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Flowers have been left at the scene of Tuesday’s fatal shark attack at Greenmount point. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

TIGER SHARK CAUGHT NEAR SCENE OF FATAL MAULING

Former world surfing champion Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo was one of the first to paddle up from Snapper and take on the break at Greenmount.

For local surfer Peter 'PJ' Kefecek, 52, he decided to stay out of the water in respect for Mr Slater.

"I spoke to him, every time I would see him he'd say hello," Mr Kefecek said.

"There's a bit of a community where you might not know everyone's name but you'd know their faces and say hello."

 

Surfers at Snapper Rocks Wednesday, the day after a fatal shark attack at Greenmount. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Surfers at Snapper Rocks Wednesday, the day after a fatal shark attack at Greenmount. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

FOOTAGE: HORRIFYING MOMENT SURFER TAKEN BY GREAT WHITE

Many visited the scene, some laying wreaths, while others took time out to reflect on the situation including local surfing world champions Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore, who were both seen in the area.

Tony Reis, 51, from Kirra was surfing a couple hours before the fatal attack and returned the next day but wasn't getting in the water.

"You always wonder if they (sharks) are out there but you never think it's going to happen," Mr Reis said.

'IT WAS SURREAL': WITNESS DESCRIBES HORROR MOMENT OF ATTACK

"I'm a bit spooked, I think I'll stay out for a little while."

Mother Grace Herriot, 27, said it was a shock and the death hit close to home.

"My husband is a surfer as well, so it shows it can happen to anyone," she said.

"I'm just really sad for the family."

Bente Ferm, 73, and Eileen Fogardy, 79, normally walk the track along the beach every Tuesday morning but made a special trip down Wednesday to pay their respects.

"We sit and watch the surfers, it shook me badly because we walk past here all the time," Ms Ferm said.

 

Originally published as Dawn surfer oblivious to attack: 'Where is everyone?'

Local surfer Josh Hannant at Snapper Rocks. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Local surfer Josh Hannant at Snapper Rocks. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

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