Man killed by shark at WA beach
A man has died after being attacked by a shark off the famous Cable Beach at Broome in Western Australia's north.
The 55-year-old man is understood to have been swimming alone when the shark mauled his thigh and bit off his hand just before 9am local time.
Emergency crews were called to the beach and CPR was carried out at the scene but the man, who is believed to be a Broome local, could not be saved.
Beach equipment hire business owner Daryl Roberson told the ABC it was "devastating".
"I saw a car come down, a police car, and obviously an unmarked police car, following another car and I thought 'well that's pretty serious'," he said.
Mr Roberson said he believed it was the first shark attack at the tourist hotspot.
"To have something like this happen is unusual and really devastating," he said.
It's understood a member of the public raised the alarm and called Triple 0.
The attack happened about 1.5km north of Cable Beach Surf Club, according to Surf Life Saving WA.
Broome Advertiser editor Jakeb Waddell told Perth's 6PR radio station there was an eerie feeling at the beach afterwards.
DPIRD Fisheries officers are currently involved in assisting WA Police with a shark incident at Cable Beach Broome. See more: https://t.co/HwhgQFHaUq— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) November 22, 2020
"There was a very, very eerie feeling there, it's not the feeling you usually have when you're standing on this beautiful beach," he said.
The shark was shot after the fatal attack but was still alive, he said.
The beach has been closed by local rangers. People are being urged to take extra care around the area.
Broome is not believed to have had a fatal shark attack since 1993 when a pearl diver was killed at Roebuck Bay.
Meanwhile in Perth's southern suburbs multiple sharks were sighted off the coast.
Up to four bronze whaler sharks up to 3.5m long were spotted at Warnbro Sound at Rockingham, just 6km offshore according to Surf Life Saving WA.
Public report 4 x 3.5m bronze whaler sharks sighted 11:45hrs 22/11, Warnbro Sound, Rockingham 6km offshore— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) November 22, 2020
Cable Beach, which stretches 22km and is 2000km north of Perth, is one of Western Australia's most popular tourist destinations.
The attack happened during the "off-season" and surf life savers finished their patrols at the beach last week.
Thousands of tourists descend upon the popular spot each year, which is on the eastern Indian Ocean in the state's north.