Paul Wilcox, a 50-year-old British expatriate, was killed by a shark during a beach swim in Australia at Byron Bay, the popular tourist destination in Australia, while his wife looked on from the shore.
The Warwickshire-born former IT worker had gone for a mid-morning swim in gentle clear surf and was not far from the shore at a sheltered inlet called Clarke’s Beach, long regarded as one of the safest spots along the coast.
Shortly after 10.30am, he was bitten above the right knee by what is believed to have been a 13-foot great white shark. He was dragged to shore where his wife of 24 years, Victoria Wilcox, who watched in horror as rescuers tried in vain to resuscitate him.
A paddle-boarder, Mark Hickey, who assisted in the rescue, said the shark bit Mr Wilcox and appeared to return for a further attack.
“I saw what looked like seaweed but it was blood in the water,” said Mr Hickey, a lawyer.
Police said they believed Mr Wilcox was killed by a great white shark. A large 12-foot shark was filmed lurking in the area after the attack and was chased off by authorities using jet skis.
“It’s not confirmed at this stage but it looks like it’s a great white,” said Bobbie Cullen, a local police spokeswoman. “I’m pretty sure he [Mr Wilcox] was out swimming on his own. His wife was on the beach at the time. He was only 15 or 20 metres [50 to 65 feet] from the beach.”
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