Shark kills woman swimming off New South Wales beach

Mrs Armstrong was swimming between the wharf and the beach

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A woman has been killed by a shark while swimming off a popular beach in Australia's New South Wales.

Christine Armstrong, 63, was swimming between the wharf and the beach in Tathra village when she was attacked.

Police said her husband saw the shape of a shark which looked between three and four metres long, reports said.

Police closed the beach while boats and helicopters searched for her body, but the search was later called off due to bad weather.

Partial human remains had been found, ABC News reported citing emergency services, but they had not yet been confirmed as linked to the missing woman.

View from a search helicopter combing the Tathra coast Mrs Armstrong was part of a group that regularly swam from the wharf to the beach in Tathra

Local council general manager Leanne Barnes told the Associated Press news agency that Mrs Armstrong's swimming group met at the beach every morning to swim out to the wharf and back.

She was swimming with a group of people early on Thursday morning, but had turned back from the group and was on her own when she was attacked, police said.

Mrs Armstrong's family said in a statement that she had been swimming at Tathra Beach for 14 years.

"She will be sadly missed by all who loved her, especially by Rob, her husband of 44 years."

It is not yet clear what species of shark it was.

There have been several shark attacks off Australia's beaches in recent months.

In Western Australia, police say they believe a 38-year-old man who went missing while diving near Perth last week may have been taken by a shark.

Human remains have been found with evidence of shark bites, but it was not clear if these occurred before or after death, police said.

The Western Australia government recently ordered a cull of sharks, following six fatal shark attacks off the state's beaches in three years.

Baited hooks have been installed off Perth's popular beaches. Any shark more than three metres long - which could include Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks - will be shot.

The controversial move prompted thousands of people to take part in protests against the culls.

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