SYDNEY (AP) — Searchers have found what appear to be pieces of the wetsuit and surfboard belonging to a 46-year-old surfer who was attacked by a shark off South Australia’s coast, and police said they were continuing to search for his remains Monday.
School teacher Simon Baccanello was attacked Saturday while surfing with others near his home at Elliston in South Australia state. His damaged surfboard was found soon after.
Local State Emergency Service manager Trevlyn Smith told News Corp the surfboard had “one bite in the middle.”
South Australia Police said Monday that searchers had found “items of interest” on Sunday near Walkers Rock where the attack occurred.
“One item appears to be a piece of wetsuit material and the other items appear to be small pieces of white polystyrene (possible surfboard material),” a police statement said. The evidence would be sent for forensic analysis.
In consultation with Baccanello's family, police would continue to search Walkers Rock and surrounding beaches for a number of days after high tide, the statement said.
Searchers say any remains are more likely to drift ashore rather than out to sea.
Jaiden Millar was one of around a dozen surfers in the water with Baccanello when the shark attacked.
“I saw his board tombstoning, which means he’s underwater and his board’s getting dragged under ... trying to fight his way back to the surface,” Millar told News Corp.
It was the first fatal shark attack in Australia since Feb. 15 when a swimmer was attacked by a 4.5-meter (15-foot) great white shark off a Sydney beach.
Less than two weeks earlier, a 16-year-old who jumped into a river from a personal watercraft was killed by a suspected bull shark near Perth.