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Port beach shark assault: Victim revealed as 57-year-old father and regular at beach

The man attacked by a shark at Port Beach on Saturday morning is a regular at the popular spot, it has been revealed.

The 57-year-old father was swimming within 50 metres of the shore just north of Sandtrax when a large shark attacked him in the water.

WA Police Senior Sergeant Troy Douglas said the terrifying incident was witnessed by four teenage boys in a dinghy on the water and only metres from where the man was mauled.

A search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area.
Camera IconA search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

“They vividly saw what was going on in the water … a person being attacked by a shark,” he said.

“And they have alerted Emergency Services straight away.

“They have been really, really helpful.

“I think it’s fantastic (their efforts to raise the alarm). It was probably something that you don’t want to see. They’ve reacted really well … alerted emergency services … and then provided police with statements which is really helpful.

“It’s a great effort.”

A search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area.
Camera IconA search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

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.

Sen-Sgt Douglas said he couldn’t confirm reports there was more than one shark behind the attack.

A search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area.
Camera IconA search is underway off Port Beach in Leighton for a man who is missing after a shark sighting in the area. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

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.

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