Tathra Beach reopens after fatal shark attack

Swimmers take to the water to pay tribute to Christine

Tathra Beach has reopened to the public two days after a shark fatally attacked a morning swimmer.

Inflatable rescue boats, jet ski and helicopter patrols of the surrounding area Saturday morning determined it was safe to reopen.

Far South Coast Director of Lifesaving Andrew Edmunds said there would be heightened patrols in the area over the weekend in addition to usual patrols from the Tathra Surf Club.

"We'll continue to have inflatable boats and a jet ski in the area over today and tomorrow," he said.

"The Westpac Life Saver Rescue helicopter will do further aerial patrols today and tomorrow."

Volunteers and emergency personnel have scoured the land and sea looking for a trace of Christine Armstrong, who was taken by a shark during her regular morning swim on Thursday.

Her cap and goggles were found late Thursday with a quantity of organic matter.

These remains have been identified as human and they will undergo forensic testing. The results are not expected to be known for several weeks. 

Police have now called off the search for Mrs Armstrong, with the support of her family and the Tathra Surf Life Saving community.

The Department of Primary Industries has indicated that current environmental conditions are conducive to bringing large schools of baitfish near the shore, which could mean that sharks will also be attracted to the area.

If people do see large sharks near shore they have been asked to please notify Surf Life Saving guards immediately.

Mr Edmunds said the members of Tathra Surf Club have received many calls of support and were grateful for the assistance provided during this time.

"The Far South Coast branch of surf lifesaving would like to thank all for their assistance during the search including Westpac helicopter, Merimbula Marine Rescue, Bega Police, Eden Water Police, Bega Valley Council, the Department of Primary Industries, NSW Roads and Maritime Services, pastoral support from the SES and  Salvation Army, NSW Ambulance, and members of the Tathra, Bermagui, Pambula, Narooma, Batemans Bay and Broulee Surf clubs who took part in the search," he said.

"On behalf of surf life saving we offer our sincere condolences to Christine's family, and members of the club."

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