A 17-year-old surfer from New South Wales in Australia is receiving treatment in hospital after he was mauled in vicious shark attack in the water on Lighthouse Beach at Ballina.

Allen was attacked and bitten in the upper thigh by the shark during a morning surfing session, police confirmed, saying it happened at around 9 am. ABC News reported the attack was the fourth serious attack along the 1km stretch of coastline in less than two years.

The teenager received treatment for his injuries by the water after he was helped to safety by his friend. Allen was later taken to Lismore Base Hospital.

New South Wales Life guards rode out into the sea on jet skis to frighten the shark away. Images shared on social showed the dark shadow of the shark swimming away into the blue waters.

"[The victim] received lacerations and bite marks to his upper-thigh area, he was assisted into the shore and off-duty nurses treated him," Richmond Police Inspector Nicole Bruce was quoted as saying. "The beaches in all of the Ballina Shire have been shut for 24 hours and there's currently a helicopter on the way to do aerial surveillance."

It is unclear whether a Great White was responsible for the attack. Although one has been sighted in the water, no-one saw the shark during the attack.

"There has been [a] sighting of a Great White, a four-metre shark, further off the shore but no-one actually saw which shark it was that's bitten him," Bruce added.

A trial system of eco net and barriers at Lighthouse Beach was scrapped in August because of rough sea conditions. The $A16m state government scheme was announced in 2015 in response to the growing number of shark attacks

Allen had commented in the past on the effectiveness of safety measures. Cooper told News Corp earlier this year he thought the barriers were a waste of money and surfers risked shark attacks whenever they went into the water.