A man in his 50s has died after being attacked by a shark off a popular beach in Western Australia.
A couple called emergency services to Cable Beach near Broome around 8.45am today after observing a male bodyboarder and thrashing water about 30m to 40m offshore.
Kimberley District Office Police Inspector Gene Pears said the couple, a man and a woman, were “very brave” in their attempts to help the bodyboarder. He said the man entered the water to drag the injured bodyboarder to shore while his partner phoned for help.
The bodyboarder, a Broome local, was treated at the scene before being rushed to hospital. He later died of his injuries.
“It was very brave what they did,” Inspector Pears said.
“Very traumatic and very scary… I absolutely commend and thank those people for what they did under very scary circumstances.”
Inspector Pears said the shark, which is believed to be 3m to 4m in length, was in the area “very close to shore” for another half an hour after the attack.
He was not able to confirm the species of shark.
“We’ve notified members of the family,” he said.
“It’s a tragic incident, very unexpected … a person going out to have a bit of fun in the water … it’s tragic for the family, friends and the people of Broome.”
He also confirmed that police shot the shark but would not provide specifics.
“Police discharged their firearms lawfully due to the threat posed by the animal and that’s all that I’ll say at the moment in relation to that,” he said.
He said authorities will now prepare a report for the coroner.
The beach remains closed.