Man savaged to death by shark while bodyboarding at popular tourist hotspot in Australia

A BODYBOARDER has been savaged to death today at a tourist hotspot in Australia – in the eighth shark-related death in the country this year.

A couple spotted thrashing in the water and ran to help the man as he was being attacked by a 12ft predator at Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia.

They bravely entered the water and dragged the bloody victim onto the beach an then called the emergency services.

CPR was carried out by police officers at the scene but the man – who was in his 50s – could not be saved.

Authorities are still hunting for the predator after attempts to shoot it proved unsuccessful.

The deadly attack occurred approximately one mile north of Cable Beach Surf Club at 8.45am local time.

Local media reports said the man was bitten on the upper thigh and hand.

Park rangers immediately closed the beach and a fishing vessel was assigned to patrol the local area.

The man was the eighth to die in a shark attack in Australia this year, the highest toll since 1929 when nine died.

Kimberley District Office Police Inspector Gene Pears praised the heroic actions of the couple who tried to save the man.

"[They] retrieved the injured man from the water and dragged him to the beach and called police and an ambulance," he said.

"I commend them for their actions. Obviously that would have been pretty horrific for those people and [it was] very brave to enter the water and do what they did."

He went on to tell how the attack had shocked the local community.

"It's a tragic incident, very unexpected, a person going out to have a bit of fun in the water," he said.

"It's tragic for the family, friends and people of Broome. We've had a hard year, with some incidents up here.

"At the same time, this is when communities like Broome shine. We'll pull together … and try and recover from what is a very sad day."

He said there had been crocodiles and irukandji (jellyfish) in the water, but a shark attack was most unexpected.

He said the water was very murky and the type of shark responsible for the attack had not been confirmed.

However, Broome is renowned for great fishing and recreational fishers regularly encounter sharks – including tiger and bull sharks.

Local Francesca Rossi said she heard the tragic news from a local ranger after seeing and hearing police cars swarm the area.

"A ranger told me what happened and that the beach was closed," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I heard it was a 55-year-old man, swimming alone and that he'd been bitten on his thigh and lost his hand, but unfortunately died. It's very sad."

It has been just six weeks since the last fatal shark attack off the WA coast when surfer Andrew Sharps disappeared on October 9.

Authorities believe he was taken by a shark after widespread reports of a sighting at Wylie Beach in Esperance.

Despite a three-day search, his body was never found however is surfboard and parts of his wetsuit were later recovered.

WA Premier Mark McGowan expressed his sympathy for the family of the latest shark victim.

"It's a traumatic and unexpected event and so I'd just like to pass all of our thoughts on to the people who love the man who has passed away," he said.

"Can I thank all of those people who attempted to rescue the man in the surf. "[It's a] very, very sad day for Broome."

Experts insist shark attacks remain rare and the figures are roughly in line with previous numbers over the last decade.

Shark warnings have been issued across Australia this year – with at least two mass closures of beaches over fears of circling great whites.






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