Dad of Three, 59, Killed in Shark Attack in Australia: ‘We Miss You So Much,' Daughters Say

Rachel DeSantis
·3 min read

Getty Tiger shark

A father of three was killed in Australia’s eighth fatal shark attack this year while swimming off the coast of a popular tourist destination on Sunday.

Charles Cernobori, 59, was bodyboarding in shallow water about 100 feet from shore near Cable Beach when he was bitten on the arm and thigh just before 9 a.m., WAtoday reported.

He was pulled to shore by witness Troy Ridley and his wife Renee, who were also on the beach when they heard Cernobori’s calls for help.

“I saw him approaching the shoreline, and that’s when I saw the big, massive dorsal behind him,” Ridley told Australia’s ABC News. “I’m thinking, ‘Here we go, this is not going to be pretty.’ And it certainly wasn’t.”

Ridley said he helped Cernobori to shore and fashioned some rope he had in his car into a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding.

“I said, ‘I’m here, I’m with you, stay with me,’ and trying to keep him alive and keep him awake and alert,” he recalled. “I offered CPR, I tried to revive him, but honestly, I just did the best I could.”

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The man was snorkeling with family when he was bitten on the shoulder "almost immediately" upon entering the water

“The injuries that he sustained were just horrific, and something that no one should ever see,” Ridley added to Australia’s Seven News.

After the attack, the shark lingered in the beach’s shallow waters for about an hour. Police fired about 25 bullets its way, but the creature eventually swam away, and appeared to be unharmed, WAtoday reported.

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Authorities suspect it was a tiger shark, though Ridley said it looked more like a bull shark or a bronze whaler to him. He also estimated that it was about 9-13 feet long.

Cernobori was a local of nearby Broome, and worked at the Mangrove Hotel nearby, Seven News reported.

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“We miss you so much and cherish the memories of the time we spent with you. Love always, your girls,” his three daughters said in a statement to the outlet.

He was also a grandfather of four, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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According to Seven News, shark attacks in the area are rare, and locals are typically more concerned about crocodiles. The last fatal attack in Broome — which is about 1,000 miles north of Perth — was in 1993.

Meanwhile, there have been eight fatal shark attacks in Australia this year, the most since 1929, when nine people were killed, the Associated Press reported.