A shark was circling the body of a drowned man when his friends decided to dive 24 metres to retrieve him in an act which has been praised by rescuers as heroic.
The man was free diving off Moreton Island, Queensland, with friends yesterday when his body was spotted on the ocean floor about 11am.
AGL Action Rescue Helicopter crew member Dan King told 612 ABC Brisbane this morning a shark was circling the body and in one of the most heroic acts King has encountered, the man's friends still tried to save him.
''It's a little unclear about whether the shark has swum in and bumped him or whether he was attracted to the fish the gentleman was attempting to catch," Mr King said.
''When he was spotted by his friends under the water there, they had seen the shark and they still decided that they were going to go down and get hold of the gentleman and brought him back to the surface.''
The drowning was part of a tragic Labour Day long weekend in which a man went missing off a Sunshine Coast beach.
The family of the 37-year-old father of two missing since Sunday has issued a heartbreaking statement via Sunshine Coast police.
A number of search vessels and a helicopter failed to find the father of two, who was reported missing around 3pm on Sunday after going for a swim at Peregian Beach.
''The family of the missing man would like to thank the police, surf lifesavers, emergency services, volunteers and the beautiful people of Peregian for their ongoing efforts and support,'' Inspector Mark Henderson told the Ten Network yesterday afternoon.
''The devoted husband and father of two will be sorely missed by family on two continents.
''Seven marine rescue vessels, the Sunshine Coast Water Police vessel, a rescue helicopter and jet skis searched in vain off Peregian and Sunshine beaches for the man, who is believed to be German.
The search resumed at first light today.
Ambulance officers were alerted to a male diver missing off the northeast tip of Moreton Island at 11am yesterday.
The man, whose age is unknown, was pulled from the water before ambulance officers arrived, the Department of Community Safety said.
He was taken aboard a civilian boat where CPR was administered, but he could not be revived.
- Brisbane Times