Surfer killed in shark attack off Australian coast
July 16, 2012 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
- NEW: Authorities are still searching for the victim's remains
- His age and identity are not immediately released
- The surfer is believed to have been taken by a great white
- The stretch off Western Australia's southern coast is one of the deadliest for shark attacks
(CNN) -- A surfer was killed Saturday in a shark attack off the coast of Australia, at least the fifth such attack in less than a year.
The man had been surfing just south of Wedge Island in Western Australia when he was taken by what is believed to be a great white, the Department of Fisheries said in a statement.
The identity and age of the victim were not immediately released. Authorities were still searching for his remains.
"When last seen the shark was heading offshore, but we have placed baited lines in the water near the attack site, in an attempt to catch the shark should it return to the location or pose a threat in the area," said Tony Cappelluti, spokesman for the department's Shark Response Unit.
Divers fend off great white shark
Shark strikes get fishers screaming
Watch shark surprise people fishing
Some area beaches were closed after the incident, but no further shark sightings have been reported.
The stretch of water along Western Australia's southern coast is one of the deadliest for shark attacks. Three people were mauled in the water in September and October, while a fourth was taken in March while diving with his brother about one nautical mile off Stratham Beach.
More people were killed by sharks along that southern coast than anywhere else in the world in 2011, according to the International Shark Attack File.
"Certainly for Australia, and Western Australia in particular, I would say that five deaths from shark attacks in less than 12 months is very unusual," said Cappelluti.
He declined to say what might be behind the attacks, but said a lot of research is being done on the subject and that authorities hope to have more information soon.
Still, others manage to come face-to-face with the aquatic creatures and live to tell the tale.
Nathan Podmore and his friend were spear fishing off the coast of Western Australia, south of Perth, recently when they came across a 12-foot-long shark.
"It wasn't in attack mode. It was more curious," he told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield. He said he and his friend fended it off before getting back to their boat.
"I always said that I would like to see one. ... No, but, I never want to see another one in the water. It's nuts," Podmore said.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.