Surfer Feared Dead in Great White Shark Attack

An Australian surfer, identified as 55-year-old Tod Gendle, is feared dead following a shark attack near Granites Beach, close to Streaky Bay. The incident occurred earlier this week in an area known for its population of great white sharks. According to eyewitness accounts, Gendle was knocked off his surfboard by a shark while paddling back out after catching a wave. The shark then circled back, grabbed Gendle, and dragged him underwater.

Jack Martin, a bystander who witnessed the terrifying event, recounted how the shark “thrashed him about and took him under.” Another local, Jeff Schmucker, quickly sprang into action, hopping on his water ski to aid in the search for Gendle. Schmucker picked up the floating surfboard and headed to the location of the attack.

Schmucker turned off his jetski and within a minute, a great white shark, estimated to be about 14 feet long, approached. Despite following the shark for several laps, Schmucker found no trace of Gendle. He described the shark as being “the length of a sedan car” and weighing between 2200 to 3000 pounds. However, he was unsure if this was the same shark involved in the attack.

Schmucker also noted that he had previously seen up to five great whites in the water at the same time, suggesting the possibility of multiple sharks being present during the attack. Gendle’s body has yet to be found, and he was officially identified by his family on Thursday.

The family expressed their gratitude to the police and volunteers for their efforts in the search. They also thanked Gendle’s friends and the local community of Streaky Bay. Superintendent Paul Behr described Gendle as a “very competent surfer” who frequently traveled across Australia.

Behr stated that the search for Gendle’s body would continue for at least the next two days, depending on weather conditions. However, he added that attempting to locate the shark involved in the attack would be “futile,” and authorities have no plans to track it down.