Surfer missing after shark ‘attack’ at notorious Australian beach

A surfer is missing after a suspected shark attack off the coast of southwest Australia.

A surfboard was recovered from the water at Wylie Bay but the male surfer has not been located, a police spokesman said.

Detectives said a “possible shark bite” was reported by a witness at 10.50am on Friday, sparking a huge search and rescue operation.

Surf Life Saving WA tweeted there was a public report of an unknown species of shark sighted just before 9.30am.

A Western Australia Police spokesman said an operation is ongoing into the latest attack, involving police, ambulance and fisheries.

She said: “A surfboard was recovered from the water but the surfer has not been located. The surfer is believed to be an adult male.”

Local media reports say that the beach has been closed and that the surf spot is a notorious area for shark attacks.

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A diver was mauled to death by a great white at Cull Island, off the town of Esperance, in January.

His body was never found.

The man, named as "kind and gentle" husband Gary Johnson, 57, was an experienced diver.

  • Swimmer scrambles to get away after realising 'harmless shark' is 'great white'

Laeticia Brouwer, 17, died following a shark bite at the same beach in April 2017.

The girl’s mother and two sisters reportedly watched in horror from the beach as the teenager was grabbed by the shark whilst surfing with her father.

There have been six deaths from shark bites in Australia in 2020.

The suspected attack comes after daring surfer Matt Wilkinson had a close shave with a great white off Ballina on the east coast on Wednesday.

Stunning drone footage showed the shark coming within inches of his feet as he paddled, before suddenly diving away.

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