A man has died after being attacked by a shark in Western Australia.
Police were called to Cable Beach, a popular tourist spot on Australia’s Indian Ocean coast, at about 8.40am.
The man, 55, was pulled from the water with serious injuries and treated by police before paramedics arrived.
Despite their best efforts to save him, he died at the scene. Police said they later shot at the shark, which lingered close to the shore, for almost half an hour after the attack.
The species of shark has not been confirmed but locals told reporters it may have been a tiger shark, which are sometimes drawn close to the shore by shoals of small fish.
Kimberley District Office police inspector Gene Pears told reporters the victim had been body boarding about 30 to 40 metres from the beach when he was attacked.
A couple on the beach saw thrashing in the water and rushed to drag the man to safety. The man suffered injuries to his leg and hand.
‘It’s a tragic incident, very unexpected, a person going out to have a bit of fun in the water,’ Mr Pears said.
Park rangers immediately closed the beach and a fisheries vessel was assigned to patrol the area.
The victim was the eighth person to die in a shark attack in Australia this year, the highest toll since 1929 when nine died.
The introduction of shark nets at popular beaches in the 1930s led to a significant fall in fatal attacks.
The most recent previous attack in Western Australia occurred on October 9, when a surfer was taken by a shark at Esperance on the state’s south coast.
Andrew Sharpe was seen being dragged from his board. His body was not found despite a three-day search, which only recovered his surfboard and parts of his wetsuit.
Broome, near where the latest shark attack took place, is about 1,000 miles north of Western Australia’s largest city, Perth.