Several Sydney beaches – including the iconic Bondi and Bronte – have been closed as officials hunt for a shark that attacked and killed a swimmer.
Drum lines, which are used to bait sharks, have been set up near the attack site off Little Bay beach, while drones have been deployed to see if the shark is still in the area.
Wednesday’s incident was the first fatal shark attack in Australia’s largest city since 1963, according to data.
Police have not yet disclosed the identity of the victim, who reportedly suffered “catastrophic injuries”.
“This has been a complete shock for our community,” said Dylan Parker, the mayor of Randwick Council which includes Little Bay.
“Our coastline is our backyard and to have a tragic death under such horrifying circumstances is completely shocking.”
A spokesperson for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries said its shark biologists believe a white shark at least 3 metres (9.8 feet) in length was likely responsible for the attack.
Authorities have ordered people to stay out of the sea as temperatures hovered around 30C (86F).
“A few crazy surfers still go out and take the risk but most of us take notice and just stay out of the water until the sharks have gone. It’s a lot more dangerous driving, to be quite honest,” local resident Karen Romalis told Reuters news agency.