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20 May, 2021 11:04

‘The shark came out of the water, just smashed him’: Australian surfer raised the alarm before being killed by 15ft great white

‘The shark came out of the water, just smashed him’: Australian surfer raised the alarm before being killed by 15ft great white

Glowing tributes have been paid after a 59-year-old surfer was killed by a giant shark that bit him on his thigh on a beach in New South Wales, with police praising friends who tried to rescue him after he warned of the predator.

Sydney surfer Mark Sanguinetti was described as a "legend" by one of his daughters after he died from the horrific repeated attack on a beach in New South Wales by one of 268 white sharks spotted in the area in less than two months, police said.

Four sharks have since been caught at Tuncurry, where the mauling took place, and Forster Main beach, according to local news reports, although they have not been confirmed as the one responsible for Sanguinetti's death, which was said to have spanned almost 15ft.

“The shark came out of the water, just smashed him," an onlooker told 7News. "Five seconds later, he came round and hit him again."

Described as a devoted father, coast-loving Sanguinetti posted photos of himself at the shore on his Facebook account.

He was with three friends when the tragedy happened and was treated by paramedics after being pulled from the water.

“It’s believed that when the attack occurred, the man did actually see the shark and called out to try to warn others," Police Superintendent Chris Schilt told news.com.au.

"Very heroically, his friends were able to bring him back into shore after he had been attacked."

A "paddle out" in his honor is being organized next week, with one of his daughters writing in a hand-written response: "We all knew him as a legend with a heart as vast and deep as the ocean, which was the first of his many loves.”

"Dad was a truly special soul: a kind, generous, thoughtful man, friend and father. He saw the light within everyone and every situation.

"He's home now, in the ocean and in our hearts, and he'll be riding the waves of life with us forever."

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