10/08/2020 - Andrew Sharpe - Australia - *** Fatal ***

We list all 2020 Shark Attacks Latest Recent Shark Attacks 2020 or Attack these include attacks and other shark related incidents for ocean goers safety...
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alb
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10/08/2020 - Andrew Sharpe - Australia - *** Fatal ***

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Surfer missing after reported shark attack at Kelp Beds surf break near Esperance

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The search for a missing surfer involved in what authorities have described as a “serious shark bite incident” near Esperance remains ongoing, some four hours after the attack was called in.

It comes as WA Premier Mark McGowan revealed another surfer tried desperately to pull the victim, reported to be a local father of two, from the water.

WA Police confirmed a surfboard had been found at the notorious but popular Kelp Beds surf break along Wylie Bay, but said the man has not been located after the attack was reported about 10.45am.

Emergency services are currently searching the area for the missing surfer. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development described the incident as “a serious shark bite”.

Witnesses told 7NEWS the attack was severe, with panic and chaos taking hold as beachgoers fled the water.
WA Police confirmed a surfboard had been found at Kelp Beds surf break along Wylie Bay, but said the man has not been located


Mr McGowan said the man was in the water with other surfers, with one trying to pull the victim to safety.

“Unfortunately he hasn’t been recovered at this point in time,” he told reporters on Friday.

He said it was as a “very serious” situation, as rescue crews search for the man.

“It’s a very, very difficult and potentially tragic situation happening in Esperance,” he said.

The council has installed a temporary warning sign, alerting beachgoers to the attack.

The break is the same area 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer was fatally mauled by a shark in April, 2017.

It’s a very, very difficult and potentially tragic situation.

Two swimmers in the water moments after the attack told how they had spotted a 2.5-3m shark just 50 metres from them.

"I spotted a shark, 2.5 to 3 metres big, about 50 to 100 metres away. I called out to [my partner] to get out, and next minute we had [ambulances] fly past us," Sammy Bamford told Nine Newspapers.

He said the couple were then told a shark had attacked.

St John Ambulance spokeswoman Joanne Hill said: “A witness called to say they saw a shark attack a person.”

“We went to the scene. I understand they still haven’t found anybody,” she said.
The Kelp Beds surf break along Wylie Bay east of Esperance.
The Kelp Beds surf break along Wylie Bay east of Esperance.

Just over an hour later at 10.45am, a beachgoer called triple zero to report a shark had bitten a surfer at the popular break.

Esperance Police, St John Ambulance, Marine Rescue Esperance, Department of Transport, Surf Life Saving WA, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Fisheries) are all at the scene.

Authorities have warned people to take caution in the area and adhere to beach closures.

The ABC reports people have gathered at the beach, saying: “at least one person is in tears.”

Shire of Esperance president Ian Mickel said the incident had rocked the tight-knit Esperance community.

“Everyone in Esperance is anxious about it,” he said.

“If they have got the surfboard and they are still looking for a person, we can only hope that it is a positive outcome.”

Mr Mickel said although there had been a number of attacks in the area in the recent past, he was unaware of any recent shark sightings in the area in recent days.

The surf break is the same area teen Laeticia Brouwer was killed by a shark in April 2017.

The Singleton surfer was mauled while her father Leon surfed nearby and her mother Julie and two younger sisters watched in horror from the beach.

Esperance Ocean Safety and Support committee member David Swan said his thoughts were with the family and friends of the man taken earlier today.

While he appreciated support from the WA Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley after the death of local diver Gary Johnson at Esperance’s Cull Island, not enough had been done to mitigate shark attacks in the area.

“In respect to his family and friends my sympathies go out to them and in due course we might see Premier Mark McGowan down,” he said.

Just last month, a 60-year-old man died after being pulled from the water at Wylie Bay on September 24.

The man is believed to have fallen into the water while rock fishing in the area.

He was taken to Esperance hospital but died a short time later.

In 2014, surfer Sean Pollard was mauled by two great white sharks at Wylie Bay.

Mr Pollard survived but lost his right hand and left arm in the attack.

Mr McGowan said WA’s south coast, particularly around Esperance, was a known breeding ground for great white sharks and home to large seal colonies.

He said the State Government taken extra safety measures to protect swimmers and surfers including helicopter patrols, monitoring stations and subsided shark shields.

Renowned WA shark expert Hugh Edwards pointed out there had been more shark attacks in Queensland and New South Wales this year compared to WA.

Statistics show there have been 19 shark attacks across Australia so far this year, not including the one which occurred at Esperance on Friday.

Seven of those attacks have occurred in NSW and five occurred in Queensland. There have been three attacks in WA.

“There are far more attacks in Queensland and New South Wales,” Mr Edwards said on Friday.

“But Western Australia has got by far the greatest length of coastline, so attacks are likely here.”

Mr Edwards said Dunsborough and Esperance remained well known hot spots for shark attacks.

“They are particular areas that seem to get more attacks more than others, and they are usually associated with the salmon run and to a lesser extent the whale run,” he said.
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