A Fremantle beachgoer who watched on in horror as a swimmer was “dragged under” by a shark at Port Beach has recalled the harrowing incident.
The man in his 20s, who asked not to be named, said he hadn’t witnessed “the initial hit”, but saw the struggle in the water that followed.
“I saw the man struggling in the water, and then there was a commotion with a tinny coming over surrounding the guy and that was the last they saw if him,” he told The West Australian.
The Fremantle local, was on the beach near Sandtrax when the alarm was raised, said after the victim, believed to be a man in his 50s, was taken, he saw the shark.
“It was big, and it looked like a White,” he said. “After the attack we saw it swing out the water with its fin.
“He was a big one.
“And then we saw these young guns in a tinny racing up the beach raising the alarm.”
Despite an extensive search operation coordinates by Water Police, the man has not been found.
Several vessels including Volunteer Marine Rescue crews from Whitfords and Joondalup, the Department of Fisheries and Surf Life Saving WA jet skis flanked Water Police throughout the day on Saturday, moving up and down the coast in a line as they combed the water for any sign of the man.
WA Police Senior Sergeant Troy Douglas said he couldn’t confirm reports there was more than one shark behind the attack.
He said the man’s wife and children remained at the beach for some time but had since left to lean on loved ones for support.
“The man’s family is holding up well. (They) are hopeful,” he said.
Sen-Sgt Douglas said they were still searching for the man, and that after the marine operation was scaled back at nightfall, beach patrols would continue until first light when search crews would return to the water.