A surfer who is believed to have been attacked by a shark at a beach in Western Australia has a “pretty slim” chance of survival, police have said.
Horrifying new details surrounding the attack came to light in the hours after the attack, which occurred at Kelps Beds along Wylie Bay at about 10.45am on Friday.
The victim has been identified by The West Australian as Andrew Sharpe, a father and “local legend” with a love for the sea.
Police are yet to confirm his identity.
Mr Sharpe was surfing with a group of friends when he was thrown into the air by the shark before being bitten and pulled under water.
His friends lost sight of him, and shortly afterwards Mr Sharpe’s surfboard washed up, covered in bite marks, according to The West.
Witnesses told 7News the shark was big, estimating the dorsal fin to be a metre high.
“The chances of survival are obviously pretty slim considering some of the accounts that have been provided to us,” Esperance Police Senior Sergeant Justin Tarasinski told reporters on Friday.
“There were a number of witnesses who saw the attack occur,” he said.
“(Mr Sharpe’s) family are aware and as you can appreciate, they were absolutely devastated.”
Search crews have called off the search on Friday evening to resume at first light on Saturday.
Mr Sharpe’s board is in the possession of the Department of Fisheries, who will examine the bite marks to determine the species of shark involved in the attack.
Wylie Bay was closed to the public on Friday.
The area been marred by fatal shark attacks in recent years.
Surfer Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was fatally mauled by a shark in the same area in April 2017.
Her father was surfing nearby while her mother and sisters witnessed the tragedy from the beach.
Another surfer, Sean Pollard, was mauled by two great white sharks on the same beach six years ago.
Mr Pollard survived but lost his left arm and right hand in the attack.
Diver Gary Johnson was taken by a shark at nearby Cull Island just six months ago.
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