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Australian Authorities Hunting for Great White Shark That Bit Surfer in 'Half

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"Half of him had been taken."

Benjamin Linden, 24, was fatally mauled by a great white shark off the coast of Australia Saturday. (Image source: Herald Sun)

Ben Linden Australia shark bit in half

A search-and-destroy mission is underway for a great white shark that killed a surfer along Australia's west coast on Saturday, biting his body in half.

Benjamin Linden, 24, was surfing about 100 yards offshore when he was attacked by a "massive" great white around 9 a.m. local time, the Australian reported.

His remains have not yet been recovered.

Jet skier Matt Holmes witnessed the attack and said he tried to rescue Linden. He described seeing a "massive, massive white shark circling the body" and "blood everywhere."

"By the time I got out there half of him had been taken and the shark was circling," Holmes said, according to the Herald Sun.

"I tried to lean off the side and pull him on the back, but as I did that, the shark came back and nudged the jet ski to try to knock me off," he said. "When I came back the second time, he took the rest of him. I just thought about his family and if he had kids. I just wanted to get him to shore. I gave it everything I had."

The Associated Press has more video, and interviews with surfers who frequent the area:

Tony Cappelluti, spokesman for the shark response unit for Australia's Fisheries Department, said a boat is grid-searching the area with orders to capture and kill the shark, according to the Australian.

"At this point in time we're basically looking for the shark, and if there are any remains found we'll involve the police," he said.

He admitted the likelihood of capturing the shark, last seen in deeper water, was slim.

Ben Linden Australia shark bit in half

Linden's girlfriend, Alana Noakes, notified friends and family of the tragedy in a Facebook post.

"I'm devastated to let everyone know that my beautiful man, Ben Linden, was the surfer who was taken by the shark at Wedge Point this morning," she wrote. "He was the love of my life, my best friend, my rock and my soulmate."

According to the Australian, other surfers had noticed a large shark in the vicinity in the previous few days, nicknaming it "Brutus" because of its size.

Linden is the fifth person to be killed off Western Australia's southwest coast in less than a year.

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