A 23-year-old man has lost an arm and his other hand in a shark attack at a beach near Esperance in southern Western Australia.
The attack happened at Wylie Bay Beach about 11:30am (AWST).
A spokesman for St John Ambulance said Mr Pollard lost one of his arms in the attack and that his other hand was also torn off.
He was taken to hospital in Esperance and is due to be transferred to Perth by Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
A RFDS spokesman said the 23-year-old would be taken to Royal Perth Hospital on arrival at Jandakot Airport about 4:15pm (AWST).
The Department of Fisheries confirmed it had caught a white shark between three and 4.5 metres in length in the vicinity of the attack.
Two baited drum lines were deployed one hour after the attack, and caught the shark an hour later.
A fisheries spokeswoman said the department had sought permission from the Federal Government to kill the shark, which will be destroyed later today.
Beaches in the area have been closed and are likely to remain closed for several days.
Swimmers are being advised to stay out of the water.
“The department is working closely with police, the Shire of Esperance and Department of Parks and Wildlife to close the beaches, as well as Surf Life Saving Association jet skis in the location of the incident,” the statement said.
Compassion and sympathy
Esperance Shire president Malcolm Heasman said there had been an increase in shark sightings in the area over the last two weeks.
He said he felt for the victim’s family.
“It [the attack] is tragic and my reaction is just initially one of compassion and sympathy not just for the gentleman but also his family who must be going through an horrific time as we speak,” Mr Heasman said.
“I am extremely sad but I guess we live in a coastal community so from time to time, unfortunately, these things do happen.”
Wylie Bay is a sandy beach about 10 kilometres south-east of Esperance and popular with surfers.
There were seven fatal shark attacks in WA in the three years from 2010 to 2013.
Baited drum lines were deployed off a number of Perth and South-West beaches earlier this year to catch sharks, but plans to extend the trial this summer were abandoned after WA’s Environmental Protection Authority advised against it.
Instead, the Government plans to introduce shark barriers at up to 22 beaches, although Esperance beaches are not included in the plans.