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 8:25 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 1:06 PM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Wed October 15, 2014
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
updated 5:00 AM EDT, Wed October 8, 2014
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT