News State Western Australia News WA shark attack: Beaches still closed after surfer killed

WA shark attack: Beaches still closed after surfer killed

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Beaches near the community of Gracetown, in south-west Western Australia, will remain closed this morning after a fatal shark attack off the coast.

A 35-year-old Margaret River local was killed yesterday while surfing at Umbies break off Gracetown, about 270 kilometres south of Perth.

Police say the shark made contact with the board of another surfer before fatally attacking the man.

The state’s Department of Fisheries has issued an imminent threat order to find the shark and if it is deemed dangerous, it could be destroyed.  

The department’s Tony Cappelluti says beaches will remain closed this morning.

“Please obey any instructions given by local authorities or police or even fisheries in the area,” he said.

“People need to be using extreme caution in that area in the next couple of days.”

Acting Sergeant Norm Giocas says investigations are ongoing.

“We will now prepare a report for the coroner and that will detail all the witness accounts, weather conditions, beach conditions at the time,” he said.

“We’ll be in liaison with [the Department of] Fisheries and Department of Parks and Wildlife.”

He says the attack has deeply affected the local community.

“Naturally, this is distressing for anyone to see,” Act Sgt Giocas said.

“The surfing community in Gracetown and Margaret River is quite a close-knit community. They are all in quite a bit of shock.”

It is the third fatal shark attack in waters off Gracetown in less than a decade and the first in WA this year.