Shark attack: ‘Even seasons lifeguards were in shock’
GOLD Coast former pro surfer turned surf reporter Glen Rawlings had been looking forward to hitting the line up at Greenmount Beach all day.
Instead, on arrival soon after the fatal great white shark attack which left a fellow surfer fatally mauled, he encountered a sombre southern beach scene full of "rattled" Lifeguards and onlookers staring in disbelief.
Prior to that there had been "a vibe" about the good conditions all day, he said.
Everyone was saying "it was going to be good this afternoon," he said.
"The waves turned on. The tide was right, the winds were right, the tide was building. Everything was lined up.
"We've had kind of a small week of waves, so everyone's been waiting for this moment and unfortunately this thing was out there waiting," Mr Rawlings said.
Rawlings, who has grown up surfing the beach, said he turned up at the scene just as the ambulance left.
Timing was the only reason he wasn't out in the water with the large line-up of people at Greenmount Beach on the fateful Tuesday afternoon.
He said seasoned Lifeguards appeared "rattled" and crowds on the beach were in disbelief.
A helicopter was circling around and police were interviewing others in the water.
"In the carpark at Greenmount there was just absolute shock," he said. "You know seasoned Lifeguards … they were in shock. All on the foreshore were people standing looking out there, just in disbelief. It was definitely a scene of shock, going 'this can't happen here, this is Snapper, this is Greenmount'."
"We've all been a bit blase about it figuring it won't happen on the Gold Coast, it's more happening in New South Wales.
"This is going to give everyone in the community a whole new look at this surf location."
Veteran surf reporter Andrew McKinnon said: "It's a real shock. Anytime there's a shark attack it's a horrible shock. The surfing community is just completely blown away by this news and I really feel for the family and friends of the victim and also those that were in the water at the time and saw it."
Originally published as Shark attack: 'Even seasons lifeguards were in shock'