Published August 17, 2010
The family of a surfer fatally mauled on Tuesday by a shark off the coast of Western Australia spoke out after learning of his death.
Nick Edwards, 31, bled to death after being attacked about 8:15 a.m. local time at South Point in Gracetown, about 160 miles south of Perth.
Emergency services workers rushed to the scene, and paramedics transported him to Margaret River Hospital, where he later died.
His wife asked for privacy as the family -- including the couple's children, aged seven and two -- struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.
Edwards' mother Helen said news of the attack had devastated the family.
"It's a very hard time ... We're just trying to deal with it, and come to terms with it," she said.
It was believed a pod of seals attracted the shark to the area.
Edwards was enjoying flawless six-foot waves on a day off before he was due to return to the Goldfields on Wednesday, where he worked fly-in fly-out in the mining industry.
Fellow beachgoers said six people dragged the critically injured man from the sea and administered CPR for 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
Eddie Kilgallon, 42, who was surfing nearby, said he ran along the shore to where the victim had been dragged out of the water. "I was holding what was left of his leg together. The bottom half of his thigh was exposed and ripped open. Half of his calf muscle was also torn to shreds," Kilgallon said. "I saw he had a wedding ring and was telling him that his wife wanted to see him again."
Local rangers also retrieved the man's surfboard, which was snapped in half.