A surfer who died after being attacked by a 4.5 metre great white shark off NSW’s mid-north coast has been identified as a dad-of-two from Sydney.
Mark Sanguinetti was on a surfing trip with a group of friends when he was mauled by the shark off Tuncurry Beach near Forster on Tuesday morning.
The 59-year-old from the Northern Beaches has two daughters, who paid tribute to their dad in a letter seen by 7 News on Wednesday.
“Some knew him as Skidders, some as Big Marky, and others as Ba, but we all knew him as a legend with a heart as deep and vast as the ocean, which was his first of many loves,” it reads.
“If you knew him, you understand how lucky you were to,” they wrote, adding that Mr Sanguinetti was a “kind, generous, thoughtful man, friend and father”.
The family announced that a paddle out tribute will be held on May 24 at Palm Beach at 4:30pm.
They asked anyone who knew him, or surfed with the 59-year-old, to attend.
Surfer warned friends about shark
Police said Mr Sanguinetti desperately tried to warn his friends of the danger when he was attacked.
Officers said he spotted the shark before it latched on, leaving him with horrific injuries to his upper thigh.
"When the attack occurred the man did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others," Superintendent Christopher Schilt told reporters.
"Very heroically his friends were able to bring him back into shore after he had been attacked."
Surf Lifesaving NSW has closed beaches from Blackhead Beach to One Mile Beach for at least 24 hours, and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is deploying smart drumlines at Tuncurry Beach.
Drones have been deployed in the area, as the DPI and police search for the shark responsible.
At least two sharks about three metres long were spotted in the area on Tuesday, as well as a roughly 4.5m great white captured by a drone videographer.
DPI said another 2.06 metre great white shark was tagged and released from a drumline at Tuncurry Beach at 3pm on Wednesday.
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