A shark attack claimed another life in Western Australia with the death of a man off Cable Beach near Broome.
Police said the man, 65, was taken out of the water and treated by local officers before medics arrived, but his injuries were so extensive that his life was impossible to save.
The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, was enjoying a swim shortly before 9 a.m. when he was mutilated, losing a hand in the attack and suffering serious injuries to his thigh.
The iconic beach – one of Broome’s best-known attractions – was immediately closed.
Daryl Roberson operates his umbrella, lounge chair and beach gear rental business from a trailer placed just above the high tide mark at Cable Beach.
“I saw a car come down, a police car and obviously an unmarked police car following another car, and I was like, ‘Well, that’s pretty bad,’” Mr. Roberson said.
“To find out that this is actually a shark attack on Cable Beach, it would probably be the first fatal attack on Cable Beach.”
Broome is renowned for its great fishing, and recreational anglers regularly encounter sharks – including life-threatening tiger and bull sharks.
Cable Beach is closed once or twice a year when potentially dangerous saltwater crocodiles travel along the coast.
But Mr Roberson said he had not seen any dangerous sharks in the area.
“You get a lot of reef sharks and shovel nosed stingrays, things like that, and hammers,” he said.
“To have something like this is unusual and really devastating.”
Rare shark attacks in the area
Broome, unlike some other parts of the WA coastline, does not have a significant history of shark attacks.
A pearl diver was killed by a tiger shark in 1993 while diving at a pearl farm in Broome’s Roebuck Bay.
In 1949, a woman had her arm bitten by a tiger shark, but survived the attack.
The identity of the most recent victim has not yet been confirmed.
-with son and TBEN