Sydney beaches including Bondi and Bronte have been closed as a precaution by Australian authorities as the hunt continues for the great white shark that killed a swimmer on Wednesday
Image: AAP/PA Images)
A hunt is on for the great white shark that killed a swimmer in Australia with several beaches in Sydney now closed including Bondi and Bronte as a precaution on Thursday.
The swimmer was mauled to death by a giant shark on Wednesday – the first such fatality at the city’s beaches in nearly 60 years.
Drum lines, which are used to bait sharks, have been set up near the attack site while drones have been deployed as officials search if the shark is still in the area.
A video shared online showed a shark attacking a person on Wednesday afternoon off Little Bay beach, about 12 miles south of Australia’s largest city and near the entrance to Botany Bay.
Police have not yet disclosed the identity of the swimmer.
“This has been a complete shock for our community,” said Dylan Parker, the mayor of Randwick Council which includes Little Bay.
“Our coastline is our back yard and to have a tragic death under such horrifying circumstances is completely shocking.”
Local fishermen and beachgoers watched on helplessly as the predator mauled the victim to death.
One witness told how they witnessed the shark “swallow parts of his body” after ripping what they believe to be a man in two.
In the footage, those who heard the heartbreaking screams can be seen reacting to the devastating attack.
The attack comes days before the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim, an annual charity event usually attended by thousands of swimmers at a neighbouring beach.
Organisers said they were monitoring the situation and if the event had to be postponed it would be held on March 6.
A spokesperson for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries said its shark biologists believe that a white shark at least 3 metres (9.8 feet) in length was likely responsible for the attack.
It was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963, data showed.
Authorities have ordered people to remain out of the water on a hot summer day as temperatures hovered around 30C.
“A few crazy surfers still go out and take the risk but most of us take notice and just stay out of the water until the sharks have gone. It’s a lot more dangerous driving to be quite honest,” said local resident Karen Romalis.