Shark attack: Surfer mauled to death on Queensland's Gold Coast

This article may be distressing for some readers.

A surfer has been mauled to death by a shark off a netted Gold Coast beach in Queensland.

The fatal attack occurred within metres of others enjoying the Coolangatta surf.

The man, 46, was rushed to shore but died from critical leg injuries. He has been identified as Nick Slater, from Miami.

A spokeswoman for Queensland Ambulance Service told local media paramedics were called to Greenmount Beach in Coolangatta at 5:08pm on Tuesday, after receiving reports an adult male had suffered significant shark bite injuries.

"The man was pulled from the surf suffering from a life-threatening leg injury," Queensland Police said in a statement.

"The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene. A report will be prepared for the coroner."

A witness who helped drag the victim onto the shore told 7 News "he was pretty much gone" by the time he was put on the stretcher.

"From the groin to his knee, there was nothing there. It was just like, hanging there, but not much," they said.

A search for the shark is set to commence on Wednesday. Authorities will investigate how it managed to evade Greenmount Beach's protective shark nets - which according to local media, do not span from the surface to the seabed.

Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate announced that beaches will be shut from the New South Wales border to Burleigh on Wednesday, allowing lifeguards to patrol the waters.

It marks Queensland's third fatal attack this year following the deaths of Zachary Robba in April and Matthew Tratt in July. It is believed to be the first shark attack at a netted Gold Coast beach since a 20-year-old suffered non-fatal injuries at Nobbys Beach in 2012.