Paul Wilcox, 50 was attacked by what is believed to have been a great white as he swam around 15 metres from shore in Byron Bay, New South Wales. Police said his wife Victoria was walking on the beach at the time of the attack at around 10.40am local time yesterday.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Wilcox was originally from Warwickshire and had lived in Sydney before moving to the popular resort town south of the Gold Coast.
NSW Police said he was bitten on the right leg off Clarkes Beach, with a spokesman saying: “He was seen floating in shallow water, close to the shore line, and dragged onto the beach.
“An ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead a short time later.”
Surf Life Saving New South Wales (SLS) said it believed Mr Wilcox was swimming a popular route between the beach and a point called The Pass when he was attacked.
It is currently spring in Australia and SLS said there were no lifeguards on duty because local cover starts on September 20.
Byron Shire Council, the local authority, has closed the beach for 24 hours and said that lifeguards would be posted to keep people out of the water.