Several surfers came to the aid of the boy and helped him to shore for medical attention. Despite CPR efforts to revive him, he died at the scene.
Police initially said the victim was 17, but later corrected his age to 15.
Jim Simmons, mayor of Clarence Valley shire, said visitors had flocked to the region for the school holidays and there would likely have been many people in the water.
“What’s happened there this afternoon would shake everybody,” Simmons said. “It’s terribly shocking. All of our sympathies, from people in the area, go out to the boy’s family."
Last Saturday, a 20-year-old scuba diver who was spear fishing died after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Australia’s Queensland state. The man was attacked near Indian Head on the eastern side of Fraser Island.
That attack happened not far from where 23-year-old Queensland wildlife ranger Zachary Robba was fatally mauled by a great white shark in April.
A 57-year-old diver was killed off Western Australia state in January, and a 60-year-old surfer was killed off Kingscliff in New South Wales state in June.