January 5, 2020 / 8:38 AM / 22 days ago

Man killed in fatal shark attack in Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A man died after being attacked by a shark off Australia’s southwest coast on Sunday, officials said, adding that patrols of the area would be increased.

The West Australian state government said the attack occurred near Cull Island, which lies about 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) off the mainland’s Esperance coast.

Australia is known for a large number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans.

The attack on Sunday was the first fatality in Esperance since 2017, although there have been fatal attacks elsewhere in the country since then.

Last October, a British man had his foot bitten off and another was injured when they were attacked by a shark off Australia’s northeast coast.

Australian Broadcasting Corp reported that the man killed on Sunday was a diver and marine police were still searching for his body while a woman on a dive boat had been taken to hospital suffering from shock. It was not known if the man was a local or a tourist.

The Western Australia state government did not immediately reply to requests for comment while the state police force declined to comment when contacted by phone.

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Jane Wardell

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