Hunt for great white sharks after surfer is killed in attack in Western Australia

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The Independent Online

Australian authorities were hunting yesterday for two sharks which killed a surfer at a popular beach south of Perth.

Australian authorities were hunting yesterday for two sharks which killed a surfer at a popular beach south of Perth.

The pair, believed to be great white sharks, attacked Brad Smith, 29, while he was surfing at the fishing village of Gracetown, near Margaret river. Mr Smith suffered extensive injuries to his pelvis and abdomen, and died on the beach before medical staff reached him.

Cameron Rowe, was surfing near by when he heard a shouted warning and saw two sharks. "This big shark was eating this guy, with this other shark circling him and coming up and around him, nudging him," he said. "One of them was lunging on him and attacking him."

Mr Smith was knocked off his board, which had a large chunk bitten out of it. Two teenagers, who pulled him out of the water, described one of the sharks as the size of a car. Other witnesses said they were about 17ft long. Mr Smith was surfing a break called Left-Handers in an area famous for its big waves. Yesterday the beach was closed as boats and helicopters carrying armed men searched for the sharks.

Australia's last fatal shark attack was in February last year on the Queensland Gold Coast, where an 84-year-old man was killed by a bull whaler shark while swimming in a canal connected to the Pacific Ocean. The last fatal shark attack in Western Australia was in 2000 off Cottesloe Beach in Perth when a great white attacked a bodysurfer only a few metres offshore.

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