Lighthouse Beach at Ballina closed after a shark attack.
Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Lighthouse Beach at Ballina closed after a shark attack. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Mum bans teen sons from surfing Lighthouse Beach

TWO mothers of teenage Ballina surfers have spoken of their fears around sharks in the aftermath of the attack on 17-year-old Cooper Allen this week.

Mother of three Anne Lewis has "banned until further notice” her two sons from surfing the Ballina beaches in an interview with Stab Magazine.

Both teens were in the water at Lighthouse Beach when Cooper was bitten by the white, leaving four deep puncture wounds on his hip.

"I'm very uneasy about them surfing at North Wall and around Shelly Beach at Ballina,” Mrs Lewis told the magazine.

"We told the boys before we'd prefer they didn't surf there, but after the attack this week we've told them they're banned until further notice.

"You can accept one incident maybe two as freak occurrences.

"Just the number of them we don't want them surfing there.”

But Mrs Lewis also said she was surfing on the whole was a "pretty low risk” and she was "far more concerned” with her son driving as a newly licensed P plater.

"I think boys my son's age are gonna go out regardless and they have that it's not going to happen to me attitude,” she said.

"Although Cooper's incident was a little close to home.”

Shelly Beach resident Deborah Turnbull told Stab Magazine her son, Patrick, 17, was a close mate of Cooper's.

"I've been up with Cooper the last couple of days and so it's hit close to home,” Mrs Turnbull said during her interview with the magazine.

"I was with Cooper's mum this morning and until it's your son you don't get the full effect of it.”

But Mrs Turnbull also played down the risk of shark attack, saying she was "more concerned with people getting their P-plates now... more concerned with them going out on the road than going out in the ocean.

"I'm more concerned about some drunken idiot punching them when they're out one night.

"There're so many other things that are more likely to happen than a shark attack.

"Surfing is great thing for them; (Patrick) is in such a better mood when he's surfing.

"Yes, it's scary, but number one: there is no way I could stop him from doing it and number two: I wouldn't wanna to stop him doing it because it's good for him and he loves it.”

"Pat and I have spoken about the fact he could get attacked by a shark any day, and he's okay with that.”



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