Teen killed by shark off Australia's north-east coast

SYDNEY (AFP) - A teenager was killed in a shark attack at a reef off Australia's northeast coast on Monday, with ambulance officials saying he was dead by the time he reached shore.

The 17-year-old was bitten on the upper thigh at Rudder Reef off Port Douglas, about 60km north of Cairns.

"We received a call about a 17-year-old with a serious upper thigh injury," a Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman told AFP, adding that attempts to resuscitate him were made at the scene.

"A boat brought him in but he didn't survive," she added.

It is not known what type of shark killed him.

Veteran diver Col McKenzie, who also heads the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, told reporters Rudder Reef was not a common spot for dive tourism operators.

But he said it was popular with spear fishing enthusiasts, and there was a fatal shark attack at nearby Opal Reef almost a decade ago to the day.

Experts say attacks by sharks, which are common in Australian waters, are increasing as water sports become more popular.

In October, two great white sharks were killed after a young surfer lost parts of both arms in an attack off the south coast of Western Australia.

The most recent fatality was in September when a man was killed in front of his wife while swimming at Byron Bay on the east coast.