Shark kills male surfer at Gracetown Beach, Western Australia
A SURFER killed in a shark attack in Western Australia has been described as an "absolute champion" who loved the ocean.
Chris Boyd, 35, a father-of-two originally from Queensland, was killed instantly when he was mauled by a great white shark while surfing at popular break “Umbies” off Gracetown, 270km south of Perth.
It is the the third time in the past decade the close-knit community of Gracetown, about 270km south of Perth, has been left reeling from the shock of a fatal shark attack.
Surfer Ryan Scanlon said he was about to paddle out into the water when he witnessed the attack.
"I ran up the beach and called police," he told The Sunday Times.
"There was a guy with me. He's an anaesthetist and he pronounced the guy dead at 9.05am.
"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."
The fatality came during a weekend when the South-West region was meant to be celebrating one of its top tourist events – the Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
Hundreds of year 12 students are also in the region celebrating the end of their high school education.
The shark was believed to be a great white.
The surf club from Mr Boyd's home town of Coolum paid tribute to him on Facebook.
"He was very well looked up to," one friend said.
"To) a lot of young surfers in the community, he was their shining light ... he was one of the heroes."
Coolum Boardriders Club secretary Erika Henderson said Mr Boyd was a "beautiful young man".
"The guy's an absolute champion,".