Surfboard, bits of wetsuit found after ‘monster’ shark attacks surfer in Australia
A "monster shark" tore Andrew Sharpe's leg off his surfboard on Friday while the 52-year-old was surfing with friends on a beach in Western Australia, 9 News reported.
His friends paddled over to try to pull Sharpe out of the water, but the 13-foot shark returned and, according to the station, pulled him under the water. He never showed up again.
A three-day search for Sharpe off Kelp Beds Beach found only his damaged surfboard and a few scraps of his wetsuit before it was canceled on Sunday, The West Australian reported.
"Unfortunately we have no hope of Mr. Sharpe's survival," said Senior Sgt. Justin Tarasinski said the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Sharpe, a well-known surfer in nearby Esperance, southwest of Perth, was surfing with seven friends when the shark attacked, according to the station.
“We know the deal when we go surfing. It is what it is, but you hope it never happens to you or to someone you know, "boyfriend Scott Docherty told 9 News.
"He was a seasoned surfer of 40 and he loved the ocean immensely," Sharpe's family said in a statement, The West Australian reported. "He knew the risks and we knew the risks too."
Beaches near Esperance will remain closed at 10:45 a.m. after the attack, the Ministry of Primary Industry and Regional Development reported.
A shark was seen from the beach around 9 a.m. on Friday and a warning sign was posted at 9:20 a.m., 7 news reports reported.
At least six people were killed in shark attacks on the Australian coast in 2020, according to CNN. There was none in 2019 and only one in 2018.
In 2017, a shark killed 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer while she was surfing with her father outside Kelp Beds Beach, according to the network.
In 2014, a surfer lost an arm and hand in a shark attack off the beach, The Guardian reported.
Drone alerts surfers when the great white shark orbits it off the Australian coast, as videos show
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