Man Killed In Australian Shark Attack Is From Warwickshire

9 September 2014, 17:07 | Updated: 9 September 2014, 17:13

A surfer's killed in a shark attack in Australia is from Warwickshire. 50-year-old Paul Wilcox was bitten in Byron Bay.

He was attacked by what is believed to have been a great white as he swam around 15 metres from shore in Byron Bay, New South Wales.

Police said his wife Victoria was walking on the beach at the time of the attack at around 10.40am local time on Tuesday.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Wilcox was a British expat, originally from Warwickshire, who had lived in Sydney before moving to the popular resort town south of the Gold Coast.

NSW Police said he was bitten on the right leg off Clarkes Beach, with a spokesman saying: "He was seen floating in shallow water, close to the shore line, and dragged onto the beach.

"An ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead a short time later.''

Surf Life Saving New South Wales (SLS) said it believed Mr Wilcox was swimming a popular route between the beach and a point called The Pass when he was attacked.

It is currently spring in Australia and SLS said there were no lifeguards on duty because local cover starts on September 20.

Byron Shire Council, the local authority, has closed the beach for 24 hours and said that lifeguards will be posted to keep people out of the water.

Local television showed pictures of a shark they said was a three to four metre great white not far from Byron Bay shortly after the fatal attack.

The man who pulled Mr Wilcox from the water told the Australian Associated Press how he ran into the water after seeing the attack by what he said was a six to seven-foot shark.

Lawyer Mark Hickey, from Newcastle in NSW, told AAP: "The shark came back to him and had another go. I didn't know it was a person but when I realised I ran out and waded to the bank and grabbed him.''

Australia has seen several fatal shark attacks in recent years and this latest one is likely to reignite the debate over how to best deal with the dangerous animals where they come into contact with humans.

The great white, which can be found in waters all around the continent, are a protected species.