20-year-old surfer injured by suspected bull shark in attack off Australian east coast

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SYDNEY — A shark has seriously injured a 20-year-old surfer in an attack off the Australian east coast, police said Wednesday.

Sam Morgan's left thigh was mauled before sunset Tuesday at East Ballina, 745 kilometers (460 miles) north of Sydney, police said in a statement.

Morgan made his own way to shore, where he was helped by beachgoers. He was flown by helicopter 135 kilometers (85 miles) north to Gold Coast University Hospital.

"Following surgery, he remains in a stable condition, but in an induced coma," police said.

The attack was the 14th in New South Wales state this year, 11 more than in 2014, according to statistics kept by Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

The increase has damaged tourism in Australia's most populous state and left the state government searching for ways to keep beachgoers safe.

State authorities reported the shark was possibly a bull shark, approximately 2.8 to 3.1 meters (9 to 10 feet) long.

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