Western Australia has been bombarded with great whites after a 5th fatal shark attack in a year shuts beaches and bans tourism in the area.
The region is a popular family retreat known as Wedge Island, but it was last weekend after a surfer was reportedly bitten in half.
Benjamin Charles Linden, the 24-year-old victim, was surfing with a friend on Saturday morning when he was attacked and killed by a shark.
“There was blood everywhere and a massive, massive white shark circling the body,” Matt Holmes, a witness who was jet skiing nearby at the time of the attack, told Sky News. “I reached to grab the body and the shark came at me on the jet ski and tried to throw me off.”
Holmes said that Linden’s body was cut in half.
According to the Examiner, locals have nicknamed the large shark Brutus. Witnesses have described Brutus as being between 16 and 24-feet long.
The Western Australia Department of Fisheries set up baited traps near the attack site in an attempt to catch the shark, according to the Australian. A helicopter and boat search was also launched in an effort to recover the body, but it has not been found.
Although the gruesome incident was the fifth deadly shark attack reported off the coast of Western Australia in the past 10 months, some local surfers aren’t likely to be deterred.
“Once you are a surfer — and only a surfer knows the feeling — we cannot stop surfing. We are addicted,” surfing competition organizer Peter Dunn told Fox News, calling the attack a “tragic loss.”
According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 12 deaths from unprovoked shark attacks around the world in 2011.