An Australian woman was attacked by a shark and tragically killed in the waters of Tathra Beach in New South Wales in Australia. It surely was a scene reminiscent of the most terrifying horror movie, but unfortunately these traumatized Australians could not simply turn off the TV and walk away. It is a small comfort that the other Australian swimmers, family and friends of the victim, did not actually see the shark attack with their own eyes. It was witnessed by someone onshore.
The Australian group of six were enjoying a morning swim when they noticed a shark of an unknown species in the waters nearby. The shark looked to be three to four meters long. Police Inspector Jason Edmunds said, “The group joined up together and did their best to keep the shark at bay, although it didn’t directly attack them.”
The victim, Australian Christine Armstrong, 63, was swimming some distance away from the rest of the group, which included her husband, Rob Armstrong, when the shark was sited. Christine was between Tathra Wharf and Tathra beach on the Australian east coast when the shark attack occurred. She had been swimming in this area on a regular basis for 14 years. Christine is remembered as a kind woman who was loved by many.
“She has been swimming at Tathra Beach for 14 years and was an experienced and committed member of the surf club. She was a senior surf club trainer for many years and swimming brought her much joy and many friends. She will be sadly missed by all who loved her, especially by Rob, her husband of 44 years,” a family member stated.
This is the first known Australian shark attack in this particular area, although there have been several Australian shark attacks near other beaches recently. Tathra is a popular destination and hosts the event “Tathra Wharf to Waves,” a swim from the wharf to the beach and back to the wharf. This event draws hundreds of swimmers each year.
Residents of this Australian village are quite understandably shocked by the shark attack. Dr. Colin Simpfendorfer, a shark researcher at Queensland’s James Cook University, believes the shark is likely a Great White, since that species is known to inhabit Australian southern waters. “If you swim in the waters, there is a remote chance you will be bitten by a shark,” he said. “There is no place that is particularly safe.”
Emergency workers responded with a helicopter and boat to the area of the shark sighting in the attempt to recover Christine’s remains, but the search yielded no results, and was called off late in the afternoon, reports CBC News.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Australian shark victim Christine Armstrong. This Australian shark attack is certainly a tragic event.
[Image via The Sydney Morning Herald]