Shark Kills Surfer In Western Australia

A 35-year-old man has been killed by a shark while surfing in Western Australia.

Beaches have been closed in the area near Gracetown, 167 miles (270km) south of Perth, after the man's body was pulled from the sea on Saturday morning.

Eyewitnesses described how the man's arm was missing and there was no sign of life when he was dragged to shore.

Officers from the Department of Fisheries have issued an "imminent threat danger" and have been sent to the area to attempt to catch the shark.

The attack happened at an area known as the Lefthanders surf break.

Surfer Tom Jones told the ABC he was at nearby Big Rock beach at the time of the attack and knows of the victim.

"Cop cars rolled up at Lefties and we thought (it was) definitely another shark attack," he said.

He added: "I know of him and he was pretty young to die."

The man's body was airlifted from the beach. It is reported he was surfing alone at the time.

Gracetown has now been the site of three fatal shark attacks in the past 10 years. It is the tenth fatal attack in western Australia in nine years.

Surfer Bradley Smith was taken by a great white at a beach near the town in 2004 and another surfer, Nicholas Edwards, was killed by a shark at nearby South Point.

More recently, diver Greg Pickering was bitten on the face and body by a five-metre great white shark while diving off the coast of Esperance, also in western Australia.

Saturday's attack came as some of the world's finest chefs, including Heston Blumenthal, gather in the region for a gourmet tourism extravaganza.

The Australian Associated Press reported that Mr Blumenthal was surfing in waters near the site of the attack on Friday.

The dead surfer has not yet been identified.

Australia is now the world's deadliest country in terms of shark attacks.


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