Emergency services were searching for the body of a surfer in South Australia on Wednesday morning after a suspected shark attack, police said.
South Australia Police said in a statement that the 55-year-old man, who has not been named, was surfing at Granites Beach, south of Streaky Bay, on the Eyre Peninsula on Tuesday.
At 10:20 a.m. (7:20 a.m. Monday ET), witnesses told police they saw a shark attack the man and police said they believed he died as a result of the attack.
Local and regional police, state emergency services and local volunteers all launched a search on Tuesday which continued on Wednesday.
A witness told 7News, NBC News’ Australian broadcast partner, that the man was with about a dozen surfers in the water at the time.
One said the shark “grabbed him, pulled him down, pulled him up, pulled him down again.”
Surfer Jeff Schmucker told 7News Tuesday that he went into the water on a jet ski hoping to find the victim, but instead saw a great white shark measuring more than 13 feet long and a surfboard with a bite mark.
“The only thing that was in the water was a surfboard, which was still floating in the water, literally one to two minutes after the final assault on the man,” he said.
Schmucker later said in a video posted on social media that there was no point in continuing the search.
“I don’t know why you sent a helicopter out here this afternoon to look for what? I spoke with the water police today saying I knew where the surfer’s body was – he was at inside the shark,” he said.
The area is well known for its sharks, and a number of commercial shark diving companies operate along the coast.