PERTH, Australia — A surfer was killed by a shark on Saturday off a notorious stretch of the Australian west coast.
No one saw the attack Saturday morning off a beach near Gracetown, but the surfer’s injuries were consistent with a shark attack, Western Australia state police spokesman Samuel Dinnison said.
The sleepy community of Gracetown has now been the site of three fatal shark attacks on surfers in the past decade. Surfers have been killed in 2004 and 2010.
A passerby came upon the gored victim, who had been surfing alone, and called an ambulance. Dinnison said it was not yet clear whether the victim was still alive when he was found or how he got out of the water.
The victim has yet to be identified. He appeared to be in his 20s, Dinnision said.
The state Fisheries Department immediately closed beaches in the area, which is the state’s premier surfing and wine-making region south of the capital Perth.
Marine officers were being sent with shark catching gear to deploy in the surrounding waters as soon as possible, the department said in a statement.
No details of the type of shark have been released, although great whites are often responsible for fatalities off the west coast.