Search for surfer ravaged by monster shark canceled after jagged wetsuit was found floating in the sea as family paid tribute

POLICE has called off the search for a father of two who went missing off the Australian coast after being attacked by a shark.

Andrew Sharpe was surfing with friends at Kelp Beds in Wylie Bay when he was suddenly “thrown” off his board on Friday.

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Andrew Sharpe was surfing with friends when he was suddenly attacked

Shocked witnesses say he was then brutally injured in the leg by a four-meter “monster” shark.

When his friends tried to save him, they say the shark came back and dragged him under the waves.

His surfboard floated back to shore hours later covered in bite marks and two pieces of a ragged wetsuit were found in the same area on Saturday.

The 52-year-old – known as Sharpey – has been described as a “loving father, life partner and brother” by his devastated family.

The police confessed on Saturday evening that they had lost all hope of finding him alive and, the next day, decided to officially cancel the search.

“He would do anything for anyone and was a great and loyal companion to his friends and people he met,” his family said in a statement.

“He was an experienced 40-year-old surfer and he loved the ocean very much.

“He knew the risks and we knew them too. They had been discussed often. He will be sadly missed by all of us.”

Witnesses say he was knocked off his board by a shark

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Witnesses say he was knocked off his board by four-meter “monster” shark (stock)Credit: Getty – Contributor
Mr. Sharpe was surfing at Wylie Bay in Western Australia

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Mr. Sharpe was surfing at Wylie Bay in Western AustraliaCredit: Alamy

The family also thanked those who joined in the search for the surfer over the weekend.

“It’s never easy to sit down with a family and tell them you’re suspending the search,” WA Police Senior Sgt. Justin Tarasinski said.

“What I will say is that Mr. Sharpe’s family have been absolutely fantastic in the way they deal with this aspect of things and that was actually with his blessing and almost his suggestion.”

Friends of the deceased now fear the worst.

“We know the deal when we surf, that’s what it is, but you hope it never happens to you or someone you know,” his friend Scott Docherty told 9News.

Esperance Ocean Safety and Support Group chairman Mitchell Capelli said he remained shaky after hearing about the attack on Mr Sharpe.

We are devastated … he was a local legend, “Mr Capelli told The West Australian.

He called for the implementation of stricter measures to protect the community from killer sharks.

The attack took place in waters near the town of Hope off the southwest coast of Australia

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The attack took place in waters near the town of Hope off the southwest coast of AustraliaCredit: Frits De Bruyn
A number of shark attacks have taken place near the beach

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A number of shark attacks have taken place near the beach

“We are dealing with something that hasn’t taken a single bite, it hit him, bit him and shot him down. He shouldn’t be in the ocean anymore,” he said. .

Police said eight surfers were in the water at the time of the brutal attack but were unable to bring the victim to shore.

Sergeant Taranski said earlier: “The surfboard ran aground close to where the attack took place and with obvious signs of a shark attack.

“The odds of survival are obviously pretty slim considering some of the accounts provided to us.”

He added: “One of the surfers tried to pull him out of the water but couldn’t do it.”

Horrified swimmers recounted the moment they saw the gigantic beast spin around in the water off Kelp Beds.

Jess Gardiner, who was in the water just a mile away at the time of the attack, told 9 News: “My partner saw what he thought was a shark behind me, about 50 to 100 yards away from me. .

“He said it was anywhere between a two to three meter shark… panic set in. There were quite a few families and children all over the bay.”

Kelp Beds is a popular destination for surfers, but has suffered from shark attacks in the past.

In April 2017, 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer was fatally bitten on the leg while surfing with her father at Kelp Beds.

Surfer Sean Pollard was also mutilated to death at the same location in 2014 and lost his right hand and left arm.

It comes as professional surfer Matt Wilkinson had a close encounter with a great white shark off Ballina on the east coast on Wednesday.

Drone footage shows the surfer dodging the shark attack by a few inches, as the 8-foot beast throws itself into the water at its feet.

Moment pro surfer narrowly avoids 8ft shark attack after being alerted by a lifeguard


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