Australia: Shark Attacks Surfer Near Newcastle

01/18/2012 08:32 am ET | Updated Mar 19, 2012

SYDNEY — A 44-year-old surfer suffered serious wounds to his thigh and buttocks in Australia's second shark attack this month.

Australia normally has about three shark attacks per year – one of them fatal – but there already have been two attacks so far this year, off the east coast.

Paramedic David Morris says the man was attacked Wednesday off Newcastle, 80 miles (125 kilometers) north of Sydney.

Witnesses say a great white or bull shark is believed responsible.

Morris says two life guards brought the man to shore, where he was taken by ambulance to a Newcastle hospital in serious condition.

A 28-year-old man survived a shark bite on an arm while surfing off North Avoca, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north of Sydney, on Jan. 3.

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