Teenage shark attack victim identified
LOCALS have identified the 15-year-old shark attack victim at Wilsons Headland as Minnie Water boy Mani Hart-Deville.
Witnesses told police a shark attacked the teenager while he was surfing with friends just before 2.30pm.
First aid was rendered for serious injuries to his legs and despite CPR efforts to revive him, he died at the scene.
It is devastating news for people in the close knit Minnie Water community. Jake Trevillian, who has a daughter Mani's age, described Mani as an individual who followed his own path.
"He grew up here. All the kids out here are pretty tight," he said.
"The world was his oyster. You could say that about a lot of kids, but he was really clever, artistic, not shy, and they all loved him.
"He loved making his own surfboard, not many other kids are like that.
"He was an individual and didn't follow the path of everyone else, and one of those ones you could tell he was going to do something cool with his life."
Surfing along the Yuraygir Coast is the number one pastime for many of the locals of the small seaside village, which has a population of just 237 people according to the 2016 Census. Mani was in the water as often as anyone.
"He loving being in the ocean," Mr Trevillian said. "He was constantly surfing in the water.
"There's a crew that surf more than anyone at the moment, and he's part of that."
A keen surfer himself, Mr Trevillian said this was the first shark attack he was aware of in the nearby beaches.
"It's the first that I know of around these couple of beaches," he said. "There's been bumps, close calls and people knocked off boards over the years, but no actual bite."