Teen shark victim Jay Muscat. Source: Facebook
Teen shark victim Jay Muscat. Source: Facebook

Teen killed by shark 'life of party' says close mate

A CLOSE friend of the teenager killed by a shark while spearfishing off Western Australia has paid tribute to him as the 'life of the party'.

Jay Muscat, of Albany, an avid fisher, was attacked by a four to five metre great white shark, 425 kilometres south of Perth at Cheynes Beach, near Albany.

His friend Bryce Aggiss told of how he read his dad stories popping up on Facebook about someone who had been killed by a shark.

"Not thinking much of it I continued on my day and after falling asleep at home I was woken by my family to news that is was my best friend,'' Bryce wrote on his Facebook page.

"Not being able to believe it at first and still coming to terms with it I can only think about how much I loved this guy, from admiring the zero amount of f...s he gave about anything, living his life to the fullest and never letting anyone tell him what to do...

"Him wearing his Hawthorn shirt everywhere, his love for the water and fishing and where his heart was at most, spearing fishing.

"This guy was always the life of the party and one I the greatest guys to be around.

"I love you so much Jay and I'll never forget you bro.

"I don't know how I'll get over this man or who I'll go fishing with or just be around all the time.

"I love you so .... much and I'll miss you for the rest of my life, rest in peace brother.''

Jay described himself on his Instagram page as "just a young salty dog . . . spearfishing and fishing are my thing''.

He had been spearfishing with another person when the attack occurred.

The second person is not believed to have received any serious injuries, the ABC reported.

RELATED: Surfer sees mate dragged under by great white shark

The Department of Fisheries has urged the public to stay out of the water while officials search for the creature, and beaches in the area were closed this afternoon as the search continues.

Dr Rick Fletcher, spokesman for the Department of Fisheries, called the incident "tragic and traumatic", and told reporters that the shark may have been attracted by fish the pair had caught.

He added that the shark may have been injured as a spear was fired at it during the attack.

Drum lines, a type of unmanned trap, have been deployed in the area to catch the shark, which will likely be killed.

"This is obviously an extremely tragic event for all the families involved and our sympathies go out to those particular families," he said, the Guardian reported.

"We're not looking to speculate at this stage on any of the details.

Fisheries staff were unable to confirm reports from a fisherman that he had spotted a great white in the area.

The attack occurred around 250m from where children were having swimming classes. But a spokesman for the Department of Education said the lessons would be suspended until further notice.

The attack is the eighth in Western Australia in the past five years.

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