Searchers have found what appears to be the wetsuit and pieces of a surfboard belonging to a 46-year-old surfer who was attacked by a shark off the coast of South Australia, and police said they were continuing to search for his remains on Monday.
School teacher Simon Baccanello was attacked while surfing with others near his home in Elliston, South Australia, on Saturday. His damaged surfboard was later found.
There was a bite in the middle of the surfboard, local State Emergency Services Manager Trevelyn Smith told News Corp.
South Australian police said on Monday that searchers had found “items of interest” near Walker’s Rock where the attack took place on Sunday.
“One item appeared to be a piece of wetsuit material and the other items appeared to be small pieces of white polystyrene (possible surfboard material),” a police statement said. The evidence will be sent for forensic analysis.
In consultation with Baccanello’s family, police will continue to search Walker’s Rock and surrounding beaches for several days after high tide, the statement said.
Searchers say any wreckage is more likely to have washed ashore rather than out to sea.
Jayden Miller was among about a dozen surfers in the water with Baccanello when the shark attacked.
“I saw his board burial, which means he’s underwater and being dragged under his board … trying to fight his way back to the surface,” Miller told News Corp.
According to 9 News, staff and students mourned the teacher’s death.
“He had a real interest in building relationships with students, making them feel good,” school principal Chad Fleming told 9 News. “And that’s what he will be remembered for.”
It was the first fatal shark attack in Australia since February 15 when a swimmer was attacked by a 15-foot great white shark off a Sydney beach.
Just a few weeks ago, a 16-year-old who jumped into the river from a personal watercraft Killed by a suspected bull shark Near Perth.
2022 shark attack in Australia classified as “provoked”.
Simon Nellist was killed When a great white attacked him in the waters off Sydney in February 2022. Earlier this month, the International Shark Attack Files, a group at the University of Florida that aims to compile all known shark attacks, The attack is classified as “provocation”.
But that doesn’t mean Nellist was responsible for his death, according to Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
In a blog post, Naylor explains why the group classifies shark attacks at all.
“Our criteria for classifying shark attacks are designed to filter the data collected so we can better understand the animals’ natural behavior,” Naylor said. “Any activity that attracts sharks to an area where they would not otherwise be, is eliminated.”
At the time of the attack on Naylist, several people were fishing from the shore cliffs, Naylor told The Times of London. He said in his blog post that fishing “has been known to attract sharks” even without using bait or chum.
The researchers focused their analysis on “unprovoked” attacks, Naylor said. Last year, there was 57 such attacks Around the world, only five of those were fatal, according to the group.