The search for a man believed to have been taken by a great white shark at a Fremantle beach on Saturday has so far turned up nothing but a pair of goggles.
The 57-year-old went missing after a horror shark attack at Port beach, which was witnessed by several people – including a group of teenage boys on a boat in the water.
It was that group who alerted authorities to the unfolding tragedy – and they who did most to clear the water of other swimmers and surfers nearby.
The missing swimmer could not be found on Saturday after witnesses saw the man struggling in the water before being “dragged under” the waves by the shark around 10am. The man was revealed late Saturday afternoon to be a father who swam regularly in the area.
The search was continuing in the water and in the air today.
And while Premier Mark McGowan extended his sympathies to the victim’s family, and his thanks to the witnesses and searcher, Fisheries Minister Don Punch said a pair of goggles had been located, and were being tested.
“So far we haven’t been able to recover any items other than one pair of goggles – and that pair of goggles has been swabbed for testing,” Mr Punch said.
“The beaches remain closed until 12 noon today and then it will be reviewed at that point by the City of Fremantle and Town of Cottesloe.”
Mr McGowan said the events at Port beach on Saturday morning were “horrific and very, very sad”.
“A very sad and horrific situation, and very difficult for the man and his family. A family is now grieving, a man has lost his life — it is a terribly sad situation for everyone involved,” the Premier said.
“The people who participated in getting the people out of the water — particularly the young men — I would like to thank them for all their efforts.
“I would like to thank Surf Life Saving and volunteers who have been out there searching
“And all the people more broadly who are out there searching … they are doing all they can to find the man’s body.
“So let’s hope they achieve that outcome.
Mr Punch said it was “a time of an immense sadness”.
“I want to extend thoughts and sympathy to a family that is going through a lot of grief at the moment
“I would like to acknowledge the incredible work that police, Surf Life Saving, and Fisheries have done and also shire staff — who patrolled the beaches last night
“But I would also like to particularly acknowledge the four young boys who helped clear the beach after the incident
“It would have been a horrific thing to see, but they didn’t flinch and tried to protect swimmers in the water
“They have been four very brave young people and we can proud of the actions they took.”
Meanwhile, Surf Life Saving WA reported a 3.5m shark roughly 150m off the coast of Rockingham at Point Peron this afternoon.
The shark, which was spotted by the Surf Life Saving Westpac Helicopter, was moving in a southerly direction.