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Kelp Bed Shark Attack: Surfer Andrew Sharp Misses in Washington

Two wetsuits were found underwater after the surfer was seen being dragged out of the surfboard by a shark, shattering hopes that he could still be found alive.

Andrew Sharp was bitten by a shark while surfing Friday at around 10:45 am at Kelpbed Beach near Esperance, Western Australia.

The 52-year-old boy was allegedly knocked off the board in an attack, and when a friend rowed to save him, they allegedly saw a shark returning and pulling Mr Sharp into the water.

A surfboard with a bite mark was later launched on the shore, but there are no signs of Mr. Sharp yet.

media_cameraThe Western Australian Police and Esperance Volunteer Marine Rescue Team departs Bandy Creek Boat Harbor to find the missing surfer Andrew Sharpe.Photo: Sara Maxe

Police found on Saturday that rescue teams found fragments of wetsuits in the water and believed that rescue missions are now recovery missions.

“Unfortunately, there is no ongoing hope for Mr. Sharp’s survival,” Sergeant Justin Talasinsky told reporters.

“We found two wetsuits that seemed to be his wetsuit or Mr. Sharp … not far from his last known position.

“They have been confiscated and will go to forensic examination.”

The search for the missing surfer was stopped around 2:30 pm due to bad weather, and the search was likely to resume tomorrow, but was carried out as a recovery mission.

This is the fifth incident in the area in just seven years, and a teenage girl was killed in the same place three years ago.

Locals said the shark-infested waters were “too dangerous” for surfers.

The hope of finding Mr Sharp alive is fading.Photo: Sara Maxe
media_cameraThe hope of finding Mr Sharp alive is fading.Photo: Sara Maxe

“Sharks are constantly roaming these waters in Esperance for years and decades. They never swim in these waters far from the shallows,” said Dennis Colbun.

After the attack, Snr Sgt Tarasinski said that up to eight surfers were underwater at the time of the attack.

“The surfboard was washed away near where the attack took place, and there were clear signs of a shark attack,” he told reporters Friday.

“Given some of the accounts offered to us, the chances of survival are clearly quite low.”

The search, including jet skis and boats, was canceled on Friday evening due to lack of sunlight.

Prime Minister Mark Magawan described it as a “very sad and potentially tragic” situation.

Ian Mickel, president of Shire of Esperance, said the community was saddened by tragedy.

“I’m very sad to hear that there was another shark attack,” he said.

“There have been many attacks over the last seven years. Really, really disappointing.”

– Use NCA NewsWire

Originally released as an underwater warning discovery after a shark attack

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