A shark attack has claimed another life in Western Australia with the death of a man off Cable Beach, near Broome.
Police said the man, 65, was hauled from the water and treated by local officers before medics arrived, but his wounds were so extensive it was impossible to save his life.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was enjoying a swim shortly before 9am when he was mauled, losing a hand in the attack and suffering extensive wounds to one thigh.
The iconic beach – one of Broome’s best-known attractions – was immediately closed.
Daryl Roberson runs his umbrella, deck chair and beach equipment hire business from a trailer placed just above the high-tide mark at Cable Beach.
“I saw a car come down, a police car and obviously an unmarked police car following another car, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s pretty serious,'” Mr Roberson said.
“To find out that it is actually a shark attack on Cable Beach, it would probably be the first fatal attack on Cable Beach.”
Broome is renowned for great fishing and recreational fishers regularly encounter sharks — including potentially lethal tiger and bull sharks.
Cable Beach is closed once or twice each year when potentially dangerous saltwater crocodiles travel along the coast.
But Mr Roberson said he had not seen dangerous sharks in the area.
“You get a lot of reef sharks and shovel-nosed rays, things like that, and hammerheads,” he said.
“To have something like this is unusual and really devastating.”
Shark attacks rare in area
Broome, unlike some other parts of the WA coastline, does not have a significant history of shark attacks.
A pearl diver was killed by a tiger shark in 1993 while diving at a pearl farm in Broome’s Roebuck Bay.
In 1949, a woman had her arm bitten off by a tiger shark, but survived the attack.
The identity of the most recent victim is yet to be confirmed.
-with wires and ABC