VIDEO: Helicopter tracks shark suspected of attack on surfer
UPDATE 12.50pm: FOOTAGE provided by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter shows a shark the helicopter was helping to track off Boulder Beach this morning.
The helicopter and a squad of life savers on jet skis were trying to keep tabs on the white pointer, which was suspected of having been responsible for tangling with a surfer at Lennox Head.
People who saw the encounter have described seeing water foaming as the surfer grappled with the animal.
Fortunately the surfer, Michael Hoile, was not injured in the incident.
UPDATE 12.05am: SCIENTISTS from the Department of Primary Industries have confirmed the shark responsible for this morning's attack was a white pointer.
A Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman said a shark biologist had reviewed bite marks on the surfboard through photos and confirmed a white shark was involved in this morning's incident at Lennox Head.
White pointers have also been blamed for yesterday's attack against Mathew Lee, February's fatal attack against Tadashi Nakahara, and last year's fatal attack against Paul Wilcox at Byron Bay.
Despite earlier reports a kill order for the shark responsible for yesterday's attack had been withdrawn, the department said it remained in place.
"The decision to enact the permit and capture or destroy the shark is a matter for NSW Police, based on the threat posed to public safety," the department said in a statement.
While no size estimate has been given for the shark responsible for this morning's attack, the sharks blamed for the other three were all estimated at between three and four metres long.
UPDATE 10.50am: CHAOS ensued in the water off Lennox Point this morning after a surfer's board was attacked in a freakish incident as he was paddling out through white water.
The attack comes less than 24 hours after local body boarder Mathew Lee's legs were badly injured in an attack off Lighthouse Beach, Ballina.
This morning's attack on surfer Michael Hoile occurred about three-quarters of the way up the break, about 20 metres inside of the jump-off point, not far from Lennox Point's distinct rocky shore.
Local photographer and surfer Robin Mather said he was nearby with mates about to go for a surf when the situation unfolded.
"We had our wetsuits on, just walking down the track…. then all these guys stated running towards us saying 'there's another shark attack," Mr Mather said.
As the surfers walked down to shore, they saw the man coming in over the rocks, surrounded by a big crowd.
"Everyone was gathered around him," Mr Mather said.
"The back of his board where the fins are had all these puncture marks, and one of the fins was knocked out.
"He looked fully shaken up."
A mate of Mr Mather's was actually riding a wave during the incident and said there was a lot of white water.
"He though the guy was in a fight, he was wrestling in a shark," Mr Mather said.
"It was really lucky he didn't have his feet bitten off.
"He fully dodged a bullet and got away with it.
"After the whole thing happened we just walked back down the point, then the news crews, ambulance, and cops came.
"He was fine, he was just a little bit shaken up."
Mr Mather said he and his mates had ruled out surfing for the day.
UPDATE 10.20am: AN image of the surfer who survived this morning's shark incident at Lennox Head has been posted to Twitter.
Joel Dry, posting as @JoelDry9, tweeted the image.
The Oz Grom Open surf contest remains on hold as helicopters track the shark believed responsible for the attack, which was spotted about 200m of Boulder Beach.
SLS Far North Coast Duty officer Chris Samuels said three jet skis and two inflatable rescue boats had been dispatched since the 000 call.
They are currently out on the water off the north side of Lennox Point.
All beaches in the area remain closed.
A kill order for the shark issued yesterday afternoon has since been revoked.
UPDATE 9.20am: THE Skullcandy Oz Grom Open has been put on hold while reports of a new shark attack at Lennox Head are investigated.
There are reports of a surfer being knocked off his board or having his board bitten by a shark at Lennox Head this morning.
Reports suggest the man involved was uninjured, but his board was damaged.
All other surfers have reportedly since exited the water.
The Westpac Life Saver Helicopter had been conducting a sweep of the coast from Ballina to Lennox this morning and had no sightings of any sharks.
INITIAL REPORT: THE timing could not have been worse for the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open with yesterday's shark attack occurring less than 24 hours before the buzzer on the first heat.
More than 270 competitors have entered into this year's junior surf competition with more than half from outside the region and overseas.
Organisers decided this morning to go ahead with the event.
Event spokesman Cameron Lindsay said on-water and aerial patrols would be made throughout the morning to watch for any shark activity which would force the postponement of the event.
"It's a matter of watch and wait," Mr Lindsay said yesterday.
"We've got air assets doing some aerial surveillance, a number of water assets; three jetskis, and an inflatable rescue boat.
"We'll be making patrols in the morning in conjunction with the police and council, and the lifeguards will make a decision whether the event will go ahead as planned at 7.15am.
"We're concerned a shark may still be in the area, and if something is sighted we'll be postponing the event."
Mr Lindsay said the status of the event was less important than the safety of competitors.
"Probably the most important thing for us is concern for the welfare of the person who was attacked," he said. "Our thoughts are with the family and the man who is now fighting for his life."