Search ongoing for surfer mauled by shark

The area around Esperance on WA's south coast is a known breeding ground for great white sharks.
The area around Esperance on WA's south coast is a known breeding ground for great white sharks.

The search for a surfer mauled by a shark near Esperance in Western Australia will resume on Sunday.

Police divers and a remote underwater vehicle team were among those involved in the search for the missing man on Saturday.

He was attacked at Kelp Beds Beach about 11am on Friday before another surfer tried in vain to pull him from the water, Premier Mark McGowan said.

The man's surfboard had been recovered but there was no sign of him.

WA Police Acting Inspector Clint Oversby confirmed the search had been called off on Saturday afternoon but would resume on Sunday.

The State Emergency Service, Surf Life Saving WA and local council officials are among other services assisting.

Kelp Beds Beach was the site of a deadly shark mauling in 2017 when 17-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer was killed.

Mr McGowan said WA's south coast, particularly around Esperance, was a known breeding ground for great white sharks and home to large seal colonies.

He said the government had taken extra safety measures to protect swimmers and surfers including helicopter patrols, monitoring stations and subsidised shark shields.

However there was always an element of risk when entering the water, he said.

The Shire of Esperance has closed beaches from Wylie Head to Cape Le Grand National Park.

Australian Associated Press