SYDNEY (AP) — Rescue services in western Australia were searching for a man who was attacked by multiple sharks, police said.
Two teenagers on a boat saw what they believed was a shark attack at Port Beach in the North Fremantle suburb of Perth on Saturday morning and alerted other swimmers to get out of the sea and called emergency services.
Police were unable to confirm how many sharks were involved in the attack but Western Australia Police Acting Inspector Troy Douglas said it was “obviously at least one." Some reports quoting witnesses said the attack involved a White shark and a Tiger shark.
“I was about to go into the water and actually a lady stopped me and said ‘don’t go in there there’s been a shark sighting,’" said Suzette Harding. “And then within a minute or so ... these young boys in the dinghy came screaming up along the beach, waving everyone out of the water.”
Douglas said the 57-year-old man was a regular at the beach. He said the search would go on for as long as possible Saturday and resume at first light on Sunday, if he is not found.
Douglas praised the teenagers for making "a fantastic effort” and reacting quickly by alerting emergency services and providing information to assist the search.
At least five Water Police and rescue boats and two helicopters were scouring the area and an ambulance was sent to the scene.
All beaches in the area have been closed.
The most recent fatal shark attack in Australia was on Sept. 5 in New South Wales state on the eastern coast.