Young died after being bitten on his legs while surfing a reef break called The Well – his friends were able to get him to shore but he went into cardiac arrest and died soon after. 

A memorial was held at Port Macquarie High School where his brother Michael bravely spoke: “All of us know you have left for now, but you will always be alive in our hearts and we will smile every time you cross our minds.” 

“In the wise words of Zachy: ‘Don’t cry, keep your eyes dry, and get by’.

“You were loved by so many because you loved too much. A smile so big it tears through a saddened heart.”

Another friend, Dave Malvern, said Young’s final words were: “I love you boys.”

A search was underway for the offending shark, with beaches in the area closed for lengthy periods, but Michael was adamant there shouldn’t be a cull and Zac’s death was a “freak” incident. 

“The Young family has grown up with the ocean as surfers, divers and fishermen since most of us could walk,” he said.

“We understand nature and the freak nature of this tragedy. Although we believe in the tagging of large sharks, we do not wish for this to result in any sort of cull.”

Images via Facebook, Getty