UK & World News

  • 3 April 2014, 14:21

Shark Takes Swimmer Near Australia Beach

Rescue crews are searching for the remains of a keen swimmer who was dragged away by a shark off a popular beach in Australia.

Christine Armstrong was attacked as she attempted to swim the 1,970ft (600m) stretch between the wharf and beach near the village of Tathra, 210 miles (340km) south of Sydney.

The 63-year-old was part of a group who met at the beach every morning to swim out to the wharf and back.

Mrs Armstrong's family said she had been swimming at the beach for 14 years and had been a trainer at the local volunteer lifeguard club.

"Swimming brought her much joy and many friends," they said in a statement.

"She will be sadly missed by all who loved her, especially by Rob, her husband of 44 years."

A helicopter and boat are being used in the search for her remains.

The species of the shark involved in the attack is not known at this stage.

The Tathra Wharf to Waves - a swim from the wharf to the beach and back - is an annual event that attracts hundreds of swimmers every summer.

Sharks are common off Australia's coast, but the country has averaged fewer than two fatal attacks per year in recent decades.

Two men were killed in attacks off the east and west coasts within the space of a week in November - the only deaths in 2013.

On Wednesday police found the remains of a 38-year-old man who was reported missing last week after going diving south of the west coast city of Perth.

The remains had shark bites, but police said it is not clear whether the man had been bitten before or after he died.

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