A shark killed a 35-year-old man while he was surfing in western Australia on Saturday morning near Gracetown, 270 kilometers (167 miles) south of Perth.
The attack occurred at a popular surfing area known as the Lefthanders surf break.
Authorities have closed a number of local beaches due to the death, including the main Gracetown beach.
“I ran up the beach and called police,” surfer Ryan Scanlon told the Perth Now website. He had been about to enter the water when the tragedy unfolded.
“I saw him wash up. He was missing his left arm and flesh off the right leg.”
“The shark bit him and held him for about a minute. He was dead before the shark let go,” said Mr. Scanlon.
Witnesses described how another surfer dragged the attacked man onto his board and ferried him to shore, but he could not be revived.
Police have not released the name of the deceased, but his body has been airlifted by helicopter from the beach.
A “search and kill” notice for the shark has reportedly been issued by the Department of Fisheries, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Australia’s west coast has been described by local marine scientists as the deadliest shark attack zone in the world.