A Victorian man who went missing while snorkelling off South Australia’s south-east coast is believed to have been taken by a shark.

Key points:

  • A 32-year-old Victorian man went missing off the coast of Port MacDonnell around 5:00pm yesterday
  • Police located flippers and a wetsuit believed to belong to the snorkeller
  • It is believed he was the victim of a shark attack

Emergency services have been searching for the 32-year-old since 5:00pm yesterday when the man went missing near Port MacDonnell in South Australia’s Lower South East.

SA Police Limestone Coast operations manager Campbell Hill said search crews found two swimming fins and a damaged wetsuit late last night, believed to belong to the man, who is from regional Victoria.

He said a “large shark” had been seen yesterday in the area adjacent to the reef where the snorkeller had last been seen.

“We’ve found some items in the water to treat this as a shark attack-related matter,” he said.

Locals say the water around Port MacDonnell has been considered safe to surfers and divers.(ABC News: Rebecca Chave)

He said a smaller shark was also spotted in the water around the same time.

“It’s simply tragic and a shocking event.

“We haven’t recovered any remains but there are a few remaining areas of interest that we want to explore, but the search will be scaled down.”

He added that search crews — which include the use of a helicopter and drone — had not seen the sharks today, but warned people to be careful if they decide to swim around Surfers Way near Port MacDonnell.

Police are scaling back their search after items belonging to the man were found.(ABC News: Rebecca Chave)

A local man who frequently uses the waters around Port MacDonnell, and did not want to be named, said he had always considered the area to be safe.

“I do a little bit of surfing, fishing and diving in the area and [I’m] very shocked by what we’re hearing this morning,” he said.

“I’ve never heard of any sharks west of Port MacDonnell. You sometimes hear of them east of Port Mac Donnell towards Browns Beach.”