As reported on www.theage.com.au
SCHOOL was out for the morning because of a teachers’ stopwork, and Peter Edmonds and Brock Curtis-Mathew seized the chance to head for the surf.
The 16-year-old bodyboarders from Wollongbar on the far north coast of NSW headed to a favourite beach at Ballina, 20 kilometres away.
Neither made it to school when classes resumed.
Peter became the state’s first shark fatality since 1993. His friend was left traumatised after trying to save him.
The pair took their bodyboards to the southern end of Lighthouse Beach.
The surf was choppy, but they went in anyway. Brock headed for shore a little after 8am. He heard Peter yell, and saw he was in trouble.
He went back to help and saw a “large dark shadow” moving away from his friend.
When he reached Peter, he was face-down in the water. Then he saw his mate’s left leg. A shark had bitten him twice.
Brock pulled him to shore unconscious and tried to revive him before raising the alarm at the nearby coastguard tower, and paramedics were called.
They could do nothing and Peter died on the beach shortly after 8.15am.