Surfers in Byron Bay were enjoying the first quality pulses of Tropical Cyclone Oma this morning when a surfer was attacked by a shark at Belongil Beach around 6:30am.

Early reports suggest the 41-year-old Suffolk Park man was bitten on the leg, before making his way to shore where he alerted nearby surfers. Emergency services attended to the man before he was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

Tracks Deputy Editor Ben Bugden was ready to suit up and shoot at The Wreck when Police and Surf Life Savers swooped on the lineup to clear the water and close the beaches. He took the camera out of the housing and snapped off the images you see here.

The Wreck on fire this morning, and the scene of the attack about 500 metres down the beach. Photo: Ben Bugden

Most complied, but a foolhardy contingent at The Wreck ignored both the pleas of the authorities and an ocean that was clearly alive with bait-balls, and continued to surf the good conditions.

Other lineups remain healthily populated, blissfully ignorant of what had happened less than a kilometre away.

The beaches will remain closed for 24 hours.