Skip to main content

Human remains found in search for woman 'taken' by large shark in Australia

By Brian Walker, CNN
updated 9:23 PM EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Swim cap, goggles found with human remains, police say
  • Woman missing after swimming in ocean off the Australian coast
  • It's believed she was attacked by a large shark seen in the area

(CNN) -- A cap and goggles belonging to a 63-year-old woman presumed to have been "taken" by a large shark while swimming off the coast of Australia have been found, along with human remains, police said Friday.

The search for Christine Armstrong was ongoing Friday morning, New South Wales Police said in a statement.

Armstrong was swimming Thursday with a group of friends off a beach in Tathra in New South Wales when she complained and headed back to shore, Police Inspector Jason Edmunds said.

The rest of the group, including her husband, later saw a shark, estimated to be about 11 feet long, swimming near them, causing them to bunch together for safety.

They swam back to the beach club, but found no trace that Armstrong made it back.

Edmunds said that another witness on some nearby rocks spotted a large shark attacking something in the water roughly 150 yards offshore, which he believed to be a swimmer.

The remains and swim cap and goggles were found late Thursday. The remains will undergo forensic testing, police said. Results are not expected for "several weeks."

The popular beach is now closed for a safety assessment, but an extensive search of the area failed to find Armstrong or signs of the shark.

"The community is in shock, and the husband is taking it hard, as he has been with her since they were kids," said Edmunds, noting that sightings of large sharks are rare, and he couldn't remember any other attack in the area.

"Cancer, heart attacks -- those are all things we fear but expect, but who gets taken by a shark?"

It is believed the woman was a lifeguard herself, according to a post on the Surf Life Saving New South Wales website. The other lifeguards she was swimming with are receiving counseling, the post said.

Shark culling begins in Western Australia

Man killed in shark attack while fishing in Hawaii

2 men bitten by sharks off Florida coast

Tourist dies after losing her arm in shark attack

Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT