Two months after saying shark barriers off Lighthouse Beach in Australia weren't needed and were a waste of money, surfer Cooper Allen was attacked by a shark.
The 17-year-old, who lives across the road from the beach in Ballina, was surfing with friends Monday morning as he always does when he was bitten on the leg by a shark, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin, The Sydney Morning Herald and other media outlets.
Cooper told paramedics he had been bumped off his surfboard and initially thought it was a friend pulling a prank on him.
The shark attacked from behind and bit across the surfboard's fins as Allen was lying on the board paddling; the shark's lower jaw penetrated the bottom of the board and its upper teeth clamped down on Allen's right hip and thigh, Ballina Mayor David Wright told the Associated Press.
Other surfers helped Allen to the beach where he received prompt medical aid.
"The shark lacerated his leg in three or four places fairly deeply," Wright told AP. "Luckily the lifeguards were on duty and got down there quickly."
While being attended to on the beach, Allen was remarkably calm and had the wherewithal to make a request to spare his mother from worry.
"He said, 'You can call my dad, but don't tell mum yet,'" local surfer Dan Webber, who was about 15-feet away from the attack, told The Australian.
Webber was on his way out to surf when he witnessed the attack, saying it was similar to what happened to pro surfer Mick Fanning last year.
"He was just swimming backwards away from it," Webber told The Australian. "I think [the shark] was tangled up in his leg rope. I saw the dorsal and the tail fin thrashing around.
"He looked at me and said, 'Get someone to call an ambulance.' He was so calm and in control."
Allen was transported by helicopter to Lismore Base Hospital where he is in stable condition. The injuries were not life threatening.
— SharkSmart (@NSWSharkSmart) September 26, 2016
Just recently Allen told The Australian that the eco-friendly shark barrier the government planned to install off Lighthouse beach was a waste of money.
"We still go out there without the net, at our own choice," Allen said. "I don't think there is any need for it."
Ultimately, the plans to install the shark barrier were abandoned in August because of rough sea conditions.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that Surf Life Saving NSW lifeguards on jet skis chased a 12-foot great white shark away from the shore after the attack, though it was uncertain whether it was the same shark that attacked Allen. It was the fourth serious shark attack along this stretch of beach in less than two years.
Surfer Tadashi Nakahara, a friend of Allen's, was killed in a shark attack at the same beach.
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