Tributes flow for surfer killed by a shark

Relatives and friends have paid emotional tributes to shark attack victim Chris Boyd, describing him as a great family man, surfer and role model.

Tributes have been pouring in for Mr Boyd, 35, who was killed by a shark, believed to be a great white, on Saturday morning.

The father of two was surfing at the popular surf break Umbies off Gracetown, in Western Australia’s South West region, when the shark bounced off another surfer’s board and attacked him.

Mr Boyd was carried to shore, his left arm and part of his right leg gone, witnesses say.

Family members have shared their loss on Facebook.

Nick Boyd posted on his own page: “Stay strong friends he was the best mate and a best brother RIP.”

Originally from Queensland, Mr Boyd is said to have moved to WA for the surfing that he loved.

The Coolum Boardriders Club posted on Facebook that the surfing world, especially the Yaroomba surf community, had suffered an immense loss and it mourned along with Mr Boyd’s family and partner Krystle Westwood.

“The club and the entire Coolum surfing community wish Crystal (sic), Nick and the entire Boyd family and their many friends the deepest of sympathy. RIP Boydy, we will miss you.”

Club chaplain Aaron Bradley told AAP Mr Boyd was an inspirational role model to many younger surfers.

“They are quite rattled by what’s happened,” he said.

“He was a joyful and fun person to be around and a lot of the younger people looked up to him as a role model at the club.”

Mr Bradley said some of the youngsters hadn’t experienced the death of a friend or loved one before, so they were taking it particularly hard.

“We’re all getting together and chatting and celebrating his life,” he said.

“We’re a tight-knit community … we are going through the grieving process together.”

Mr Bradley said there would be a memorial service for Mr Boyd this week.

Other friends on Facebook described Mr Boyd as a “legend”, a “soldier of the sea” and “best bloke ever”.

Craig Masters wrote that he’d only known Mr Boyd for a few years but he’d left a strong impression on him.

“How could someone so full of life be gone?” he posted.

“Everyone was always laughing and smiling when he was around, such a great character and he totally ripped.”

Mr Boyd’s parents and brother will fly to Perth later on Sunday.

Meanwhile, beaches along an eight-kilometre stretch from Umbies to South Point and on to Huzzas, North Point and the main Gracetown beach will remain closed until at least Sunday night.

The situation will then be reassessed by the Department of Fisheries and local government officials.

A catch and kill order remains in place for the shark. Two fisheries boats, surf life saving helicopters, officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife and police resumed the hunt for the shark on Sunday.

Mr Boyd’s death is WA’s first fatal shark attack this year.

It comes weeks after abalone diver Greg Pickering was bitten on the face and body by a five-metre great white while diving off the coast of Esperance.

Gracetown is the site of three fatal shark attacks in the past 10 years. Surfer Bradley Smith was taken by a great white in 2004 and Nicholas Edwards was killed by a shark at nearby South Point in 2010.

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