Father's Day Shark Attack Victim Was Expectant Dad

The identity of a surfer killed in a shark attack on Sunday in Australia has been revealed. Timothy Thompson, 31, was surfing in CoffsHarbour at Shelly and Emerald Beach, off Australia's eastern coast, when his left arm was savaged by a great white shark.

The beach, located around 330 miles north of Sydney, was particularly busy at the time, crammed with Australians celebrating Father's Day, Sky News reported. Thompson himself was awaiting the birth of a child when he died.

Katie Thompson, his wife of six months, shared a tribute to her husband on her Facebook on Monday. "All I know right now is that I have no choice but to keep going because I have a little piece of you growing in me," she wrote. "My heart aches for our baby who will never get to meet you."

Paramedics rushed to the scene of the attack, joining bystanders and surfers in the effort to administer CPR to Thompson. Due to his critical arm injury, the father-to-be could not be revived.

Aaron Armstong witnessed the event unfold. He explained how shortly after getting into the water, he and others were warned to make their way back to the beach.

"[I] ran down to see what was happening, saw a man without an arm, lots of blood and lots of people helping him so we just stood by just to see if we needed to help anymore," Armstong told Sky News.

"And then we just proceeded to watch people work on him, CPR for a good hour, hour and a half, before the ambulances arrived, and then, yeah, it doesn't look good."

Another witness, Glenn Coleman, told Sky News that locals have recently seen an upswing in shark activity in the area and that this is discouraging even some experienced surfers from taking to the water.

Even though New South Wales—where the attack occurred—is currently on lockdown, residents are able to head to the beach for exercise.

Earlier this year Culum Brown, a professor at Macquarie University, Sydney, told The Guardian, that while interactions with sharks had remained similar in terms of numbers in 2020 and 2021, experts were seeing an increase in severity of these events.

"What's unusual is not the number of interactions, but the number of people who died," said the fish behavior expert. "And fatalities really come down to where you get bitten and how close you are to getting help."

In 2020, New South Wales, announced that it would be spending over $8 million AU ($6 million) on mitigation strategies to prevent attacks including drones and smart nets, ABC reported.

The measures come too late for Timothy Thompson and his wife Katie Thompson, who said in her tribute: "to say I'm heartbroken would be an understatement. I'm just waiting for someone to tell me this isn't real.

"I promise to tell our baby every day how amazing their daddy was, how you never spoke a bad word about anybody, how kind and caring you were, and most importantly how much you loved that little bubba growing in my tummy."

Great White Shark
A stock image shows a great white shark leaping from the waters around Seal Island, South Africa. A great white was responsible for an attack on a surfer and expectant father on Sunday that resulted in his death. Chris Brunskill Ltd/Corbis via Getty Images/GETTY