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Australian Surfer Missing After Witnesses Say Massive Shark Grabbed Him In Waves

Authorities in South Australia are searching for the remains of a 55-year-old man who’s believed to have been killed by a great white shark — described by some witnesses as around 13 feet long — while out surfing Tuesday morning.

The man was in the water near Granites Beach, south of Streaky Bay, when witnesses reported seeing him vanish in the waves around 10:20 a.m., local police said.

“(The shark) grabbed him, pulled him back down, brought him back up, pulled him back down again,” one witness told 7 News Australia.

Local surfer Jeff Schmucker told the station that he jumped on a Jet Ski to try to find the man. While idling in the spot where children said they saw the man disappear, a massive great white shark started circling beside him.

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“I knew the shark would come to me if I just turned the ski off, and within a minute, it was a big female, turned up at the side of the ski, and I just circled with it for about a half of dozen circles, figuring that there might be some evidence of a body close to the shark,” he told 7 News Australia.

Schmucker didn’t see a body, but he did take a video of the animal that he shared with local news media. He described it as around 4 meters in length, or 13 feet. He also recovered the lost surfer’s board, which he said had a large bite taken out of it.

The man was surfing in the water near Granites Beach, south of Streaky Bay, South Australia, when he vanished, police said.
The man was surfing in the water near Granites Beach, south of Streaky Bay, South Australia, when he vanished, police said.

The man was surfing in the water near Granites Beach, south of Streaky Bay, South Australia, when he vanished, police said.

Local authorities said a search for the man resumed on Wednesday morning.

The area is known for having great white sharks.

“I’ve seen a shark in that exact spot before and exactly where he got hit,” Jack Martin, who said he witnessed the attack from a nearby cliff, told ABC News Australia. “I had one go under me a few years ago there … so there’s been plenty seen there before in that area.”

Police Superintendent Paul Bahr told ABC News Australia that anyone entering the water needs to accept the risks.

“It is generally well known that this is an area frequented by sharks, and big sharks,” he said. “Anyone who is going to be surfing or taking to the water in this area really does need to be aware of the risks and I think, in the main, most people are.”

Fortunately, unprovoked attacks by sharks on humans are still quite rare.

There have been only 42 attacks confirmed in South Australia, according to the International Shark Attack File, whose records date back to the 1700s. Australia, collectively, has seen nearly 700 confirmed incidents.