Witnesses were left reeling after Sydney’s first fatal shark attack in almost 60 years took place just metres from other swimmers yesterday.
A man was killed at Little Bay Beach when the shark attacked yesterday afternoon.
The victim has not been identified and the search for the shark is ongoing.
“Out of nowhere we just heard like, ‘Agh’ And something came up and, yeah, it was just a big shark in the air, totally airborne, hit the guy very, very quick,” one witness told 9News.
“Came back down and we realised it was a shark attack on a swimmer. Just 10 metres off the rocks. We couldn’t do anything about it.”
Another witness said sharks at the beach were known to “come out of nowhere”.
Kris Linto, who also saw the attack, claimed the shark had been about 4.5 metres long.
“(The person) was swimming and a shark came and attacked (them) vertically,” Mr Linto said.
“We heard a yell and turned around, it looked like a car had landed in the water, a big splash then the shark.
“It was really bad.”
Surf Life Saving NSW volunteers will be helping police and Department of Primary Industries officials continue the search for the shark today.
“This is a terrible tragedy, the first fatal shark incident in Sydney for decades. Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends,” said SLSNSW President George Shales.
The organisation’s CEO, Steven Pearce, said the attack had been “particularly horrific” for witnesses given its closeness to a rock shelf.
“We had our Life Savers helicopter on the scene within minutes,” he told Ben Fordham on 2GB.
“When they arrived, there was nothing they could do.”
Although some bull sharks had recently been tagged by the Department of Primary Industries near the attack area, Mr Pearce said the species was still unknown.
But, he said, judging by witness reports, “it’s a huge shark”.