Tributes are pouring in for Gold Coast real estate agent Nick Slater, who friends say died “doing what he loved” when he was mauled by a shark while surfing.
The 46-year-old was bitten by an animal shortly after 5pm on Tuesday off Greenmount Beach, protected by eight drum lines and a shark net.
Despite efforts of other surfers, lifeguards and paramedics, he was pronounced dead on the beach.
A friend of Mr Slater’s, Jasmine Robson, took to Facebook to express her anguish, saying “It is so hard 2 (sic) comprehend that out of all the blokes in the line-up yesterday, that Shark picked the best 1.”
“You have been a great friend … & we will miss you terribly,” she wrote.
“I’ll never 4get (sic) the look on Dave’s face as we found your car last night alone in the car park, confirmation of our worst nightmare.
“Everything just left how you have left it 100 times before, expecting to be back in an hour after catching a few waves.
“As tragic as this all is, we know you died doing something you loved, surfing ‘Beaver Creek’. We hope it was quick and painless buddy. Forever in our hearts. XOXO”.
In a comment, she described the situation as “Our worst nightmare as Surfers wives.”
Another friend, Ronnie Smith, posted a photo of Mr Slater, writing: “To my dearest soul mate … RIP … love u mate … watch over me if u can …”
Parkhurst band The Fools shared a series of pictures of Mr Slater with the band, writing “Ride on mate.”
“It is with such regret to advise that our mate Nick was tragically taken from us in a shark attack yesterday,” the band wrote on Facebook.
“Nick was a great friend to the band, an integral part of the Parkhurst crew, a Trono boy.
“To all that surfed, worked, lived and partied with Nick over the years, please take some time today to reflect on this life and the great times we shared with him.”
Steve Del Rosso, the owner-operator of Clearwater Surf, shared pictures of Mr Slater with a new longboard.
“RIP Nick my thoughts are with your family and friends. Such sad news. Nick was a great guy and a customer who picked up a new log only last week,” he wrote.
The MBA Partnership Pty Ltd shared their sadness, writing: “With an office full of surfers, the devastating news of #NickSlater’s death really hits the heartstrings.”
“For what it’s worth, we’d like to send our condolences to all Nick’s friends and family and to all the surfers who were in the water at the time.
“We’re truly saddened by this.”
Gold Coast beaches between Burleigh and the NSW border remain closed on Thursday, but that didn’t stop some surfers from getting back out on the waves.
Mayor Tom Tate said on Thursday morning that surfers knew the risk that comes with the ocean.
“When we go into the water … it’s a shark’s domain,” he said.
“The danger is there … When you analyse the lifestyle activity versus the danger … that’s what life’s about.
“I wouldn’t change my lifestyle.
“We don’t want people to feel coming to our surfers beach is dangerous … The phobia of a shark attack in the water is real, boosted by Hollywood.
“But in reality, there is more fatality in other things in life than a shark attack.
“I articulate there is no more danger on our 70km stretch of beach than anywhere else.”