Teen killed in shark attack

Jay Muscat, 17, has died after being attacked by a shark while spearfishing on Western Australia’s south coast.

The attack by what was believed to be a four- to five-metre great white happened 425 kilometres south of Perth at Cheynes Beach, near Albany.

Mr Muscat had been spearfishing when the attack occurred.

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After attacking Mr Muscat the shark turned on his friend, Matt Pullella, who was able to shoot the shark in the mouth with his spear gun, the West Australian reports.

Mr Pullella paid tribute to his mate in a Facebook message posted just hours after the fatal encounter.

“The shark hit me first then attacked Jay,” he wrote.

“The shark turned and came for me, I pushed the spear gun down its throat and fired the gun.”

The Fisheries Department has deployed drumlines in the area to catch the shark.

Beaches in the area remain closed on Tuesday, with holiday makers and residents urged to stay out of the water.

Children’s vacation swimming classes were being held about 250 metres from where the shark attack occurred, but had concluded shortly beforehand.

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the lessons would remain suspended until further notice.

Local surfers have talked about a shark swimming around people in the area in recent days.

Cheynes Beach has deep water and rocky outcrops, and is a popular camping and fishing destination.

In October this year, surfer Sean Pollard, 23, lost an arm and his other hand during an attack at Kelpids Beach at Wylie Bay near Esperance.

Two sharks were caught and killed after WA’s Department of Fisheries deployed drum lines off the beach after the incident.

If the state coroner confirms Mr Muscat’s death as a shark attack, it will be the eighth fatality in the past five years and the first for 2014 in WA.

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