SYDNEY (AFP) - A man has died in a suspected shark attack in western Australia Monday, police said, in what would be the country's second such fatality this month.
Police rushed to Cheynes Beach, near Albany in the southernmost part of Western Australia state, after a member of the public reportedly told them there was a dead man in the water.
"The man appears to have an injury to his body," Western Australia police said in a statement.
"Based on an initial assessment it appears the injury is consistent with a shark bite, however further assessment will need to be made to confirm this." If confirmed, it will be the second fatal shark attack in Australia since December 15 when a teenager was mauled while swimming near Rudder Reef off Port Douglas on the country's northeast coast.
A young surfer lost parts of both arms in an attack by two great white sharks off the south coast of Western Australia in October, prompting officials to catch and kill two of the animals in the area.
In the latest incident the Perth Now website reported that two men were spearfishing when one was taken.
The website said that in April 2013 a 4.1 metre great white was snared by commercial fishing nets near Cheynes Beach and drowned.
Experts say attacks by sharks, which are common in Australian waters, are increasing as water sports become more popular.
A man was killed by a shark in front of his wife in September while swimming at Byron Bay on Australia's east coast.
And in November, two great whites were found dead at one of the country's busiest bathing spots, Sydney's famous Bondi Beach. Both were caught in nets designed to protect swimmers.