News State Western Australia News Surfer missing after suspected shark attack at notorious WA beach

Surfer missing after suspected shark attack at notorious WA beach

kelpies shark attack surfer
A marine search is underway off the coast of Esperance for a missing surfer. Photo: ABC
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A possible shark attack has been reported at Kelp Beds Beach in Wylie Bay, near Esperance, on Western Australia’s south coast, where an adult male surfer is missing.

Police said a surf board had been found floating in the water but the surfer had not been found.

Emergency authorities were at the scene, including Esperance Police, St John Ambulance, Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving WA, on Friday.

A witness reported a potential shark attack just before 11am.

Police said the search and rescue operation was “ongoing.”

Video posted from the area shows surf life savers and a jet ski heading towards the beach.

Kelp Beds Beach, also known as “Kelpies”, has since been closed.

Authorities are warning people to take extra care around the area and to stay informed via the SharkSmart website.

It is the same area where 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer died after being bitten by a white shark in 2017.

Emotional scenes at Kelp Beds Beach

ABC Journalist Emily Smith is at the scene and said while her vision was limited because the beach had been closed, she could see surf lifesaving jet skis in the water.

Kelp Beds is a popular surf break and can be accessed by car from only one entry point.

“All the surfers just drive up and park their cars in a long line and it looks like there’s still about 10 cars out there,” Ms Smith said.

“People have begun arriving at the beach after hearing about the possible shark attack, worried about if their loved one is a victim.

“At least one person is in tears.”