A 55-year-old man is believed to have died after he was attacked by a shark while surfing off the coast of South Australia.
The man's body is yet to be found and police have pledged to continue their search after the incident took place off the Westall Way Loop, near Streaky Bay, at 10.20am on Tuesday. The remote stretch of beach is about 300 kilometres northwest of Port Lincoln and 730km by road from Adelaide.
It is the state's second fatal attack in six months. The man was believed to be surfing at the well-known break near Granite Rock.
Shark 'four metres-long', witnesses say
“It’s horrendous,” one woman told The Adelaide Advertiser, adding that the shark looked approximately 14 feet – or 4.2 metres long.
She described the chaos as “pandemonium”. “It happened close in near the surf break,” she said.
A paramedic from the nearby town of Ceduna, who happened to be at the scene, was the first to respond to the attack, The Advertiser reported. “When it happened, we were just trying to get contact for a phone, I called first responders,” she said.
After about 30 minutes, three ambulance officers and SES arrived.
The witness said the group she was about to go swimming with were “all ready to go in” just before the attack, explaining that the area had a heavy tourist presence at the time — between 10 and 20 coming in and out of the water.
Recent shark attacks in South Australia
The attack follows a fatal attack on another surfer at Walkers Rock Beach in May, just 100km down the coast. While on October 2 at Beachport, a small seaside town in the state's southeast, a swimmer was bitten by a shark.
Popular grandmother and avid swimmer Pamela Cook, 64, was lucky to have escaped with her life after being bitten on her leg, arms and hand while she was out for a regular morning swim.
Paramedics took Cook to Mount Gambier hospital, about 85km from Beachport and about 385km south of Adelaide near the Victorian border. After extensive treatment in hospital, it's expected Cook will recover.
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