A man is in hospital after being attacked by a shark at a beach in New South Wales' Illawarra region. Emergency services said they were called to Seven Mile Beach at Gerroa around 1 pm following reports of the attack. It is believed a 24-year-old Sydney man was participating in a surfing lesson when he was attacked. NSW Ambulance Duty Operations Manager Inspector Jordan Emery said the man was in water up to his waist at the time. "He felt quite a significant force and lashing against his legs," Mr. Emery said. Bystanders then noticed deep lacerations to the man's right leg and helped him from the water before applying a tourniquet and pressure. "They are serious lacerations," Mr. Emery said. "It's very fortunate that bystanders on the scene were capable of providing first aid." The man also suffered a small laceration to his hand and was flown to Sydney's St George Hospital in a stable condition. "I should stress that at no time was a shark sighted," Mr. Emery said. "But certainly based on the circumstances around the incident and the injuries that have been sustained, it would appear that this is a shark attack." NSW Police said the beach was closed after "reports of a shark attack" while they liaised with Surf Life Saving and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).