Surfers return to the water with respect after attack
GOING into the ocean in Coffs Harbour will never be the same again.
Four days after the tragic death of teenager Zac Young, surfers and swimmers have started tentatively returning to the sea.
Some are understandably nervous and will be scanning the horizon for fins as much as sets of waves.
Others are much more pragmatic, rationalising that all who venture into the ocean face an equal risk of attack.
Marine experts agree sharks are an ever present danger along our coast.
Indeed as marine biologist Dr Amy Smoothey was confirming on Monday that a three-metre tiger shark was behind the attack, Jetty Beach was closed by water police and lifeguards after two sharks were reportedly sighted in the harbour.
Until now generations of surfers have held an assured confidence that there hadn't been a life lost to a shark in local waters in 75 years.
Two men lost their lives after being bitten by sharks in 1923 and 1938 near the mouth of the Bellinger River
As a family grieves for their son and a life cut so tragically short, experts say the reality of another attack is extremely slim.
They have, however, warned against swimmers and surfers being complacent when they enter the water.