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NSW beaches closed over fatal shark attack

Beaches in northern NSW will remain closed as investigators look into a fatal shark attack that claimed the life of a teenage boy.

The 15-year-old has been named in media reports as Mani Hart-Deville, with the people who knew him remembering him as clever, artistic and a lover of the ocean.

He was attacked at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach, north of Coffs Harbour, just before 2.30pm on Saturday.

Board-riders helped the boy to shore and he was given first aid for serious leg injuries but died at the scene despite efforts to resuscitate him.

NSW Ambulance inspector Scott Acton said "no words" could describe the scene paramedics faced.

Beaches in the area, including Wooli, Diggers Camp and Minnie Water, are closed for 24 hours, with drones and jetskis operated on Sunday to assist investigations.

"Please do not enter the water in this region until further notice," Surf Life Saving NSW posted on Twitter.

Clarence Valley mayor Jim Simmons said visitors had flocked to the region for the school holidays and there would likely have been many people in the water who would have been shaken by the tragedy.

It is Australia's fifth fatal shark attack this year.

Last Saturday, a 36-year-old Sunshine Coast man was mauled while spearfishing off Queensland's Fraser Island.

© AAP 2020