BRIT dad Paul Millachip could have been mauled to death by TWO sharks, it has emerged.
The 57-year-old was swimming in the sea off Port Beach in Fremantle, Western Australia, when he was dragged under the waves by a 14ft great white.
The dad had been out enjoying his regular morning swim when he was attacked about 50 yards off shore.
A large shark had been seen in the water in the hours running up the tragedy.
But Perth police are now probing whether Mr Millachip was also attacked by a Tiger shark following witness accounts.
Cops have been unable to confirm whether one or two sharks were involved, reports ABC News.
Chris Peck, the general manager of Surf Life Saving WA, said at the time of the attack its shark spotting helicopter was about 50 miles away, according to the outlet.
“On the day of the incident when it's Saturday, it was actually doing a patrol down to Port Bouvard, when it became aware of the incident it immediately reported back to Port Beach to assist in the search for the individual,” he said.
Mr Peck also said volunteer lifeguards were not on patrol at the beach that day.
"As soon as they became aware of the incident, they deployed land and water assets … and the remaining members at Leighton Beach made other beachgoers aware of the incident."
"On that particular Saturday it [Port Beach] wasn’t under patrol," he said.
Western Australia's Deputy Premier Roger Cook said the deployment of lifeguards at the beach would be reconsidered after the attack.
"We'll look at all those elements and make sure that we can understand how we can better respond," he said.
"We need to continue to learn from these experiences and make sure that we can do everything that is possible and appropriate to keep people safe."
It comes as it emerged a pair of goggles was the only thing found after Mr Millachip was killed by the "mammoth" shark.
One witness said he could only watch in horror as Mr Millachip was dragged under the surface.
"I saw the man struggling in the water and then there was a commotion with a tiny [metal dinghy] coming over surrounding the guy and that was the last they saw of him," he told a local news outlet.
'STRUGGLING IN WATER'
"It was big and it looked like a [great] white. After the attack, we saw it swing out of the water with its fin. He was a big one."
His wife, Thirl Millachip, described the dad-of-two as a “wonderful man” and “a wonderful father”.
According to 9News, a large shark was reportedly seen in the water prior to Mr Millachip being killed.
But Mrs Millachip, 59, said the attack “came out of the blue”, news.com.au reports.
Mr Millachip was a regular at the popular beach, and his two adult children were also there at the time of the attack.
His wife said a group of teenage boys who saw what was happening rushed into the sea to warn other swimmers about the danger.
“Rest in peace Paul,” she said, holding back tears while speaking to the media.
"He died doing what he enjoyed doing the most, which was exercising.”
Emergency services were called to Port Beach just after 10am on Saturday after reports of the attack on Mr Millachip.
It was witnessed by several people including four teenage boys who raced along the shoreline in their dinghy to warn others.
“It must have been an absolutely terrifying experience for them, so my heart goes out to them,”Mrs Millachip said as her voice wavered.
“I thank them for what they did. Amazing. They could potentially have saved other lives.”
One of the teenagers said: "I didn't see exactly what type the shark was, but it was mammoth.
"From the fin to the rear tail was a pretty big distance."
The couple were originally from the UK. Other members of their family are unable to travel to support them during the tragedy because of border restrictions, she said.
Mrs Millachip said her partner of 35 years was superfit and did triathlons and marathons.
“We had been going down to the beach two or three times a week – we would go running first and then go swimming,” she said.
“He was due to swim for 1km on Saturday – I just went into the water and out again because it was cold and I’m not a huge fan of the cold water.
“He was a wonderful man, a wonderful father, and he loved his exercise.”
An air and sea search was scaled back after dark on Saturday and resumed at first light on Sunday, but by 3.30pm had been called off.
Mark McGowan, the state premier, said: "A family is now grieving, a man has lost his life. It's a terribly sad situation."
WA Police Inspector Troy Douglas said the search had been thorough and would only resume if there was “reason”.
“Inquiries will continue based on anything washed up or anything found,” he said.
He praised the teenagers for the "fantastic effort" during what was a "traumatic scene".
The number of shark attacks has dramatically risen in recent years.
A researcher at Bond University in Queensland said the reasoning behind this climb was due to more people taking part in sea-based activities and warmer oceans forcing sharks to hunt for food in different areas.
"There is a long-term trend of an increasing number of shark bites in Australia and overseas," Dr Daryl McPhee told The Times.
"Sharks are part of the marine environment and if we could track where every shark was you would find there would be a large shark on most popular beaches most days of the year.
"So we need to find ways to co-exist."
Australia has seen 17 horror shark maulings this year, including the fatal attack on Mr Millachip.
Western Australia has been nine shark attacks this year, New South Wales seven and Queensland one, according to trackingsharks.com.
Across the globe, there have been 74 shark attacks with eight people dying.
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