The heartbroken wife of a 57-year-old man taken by a shark in a "horrific" attack off Perth's coast has bid farewell to her partner, describing him as "a lovely man and a great father".
Emergency services were called Port Beach at North Fremantle in the city's south just after 10am on Saturday after reports of the attack on Paul Millachip, which was witnessed by several people including a group of teenage boys who were in a dinghy and immediately raised the alarm.
His wife of 35 years spoke at a press conference on Sunday afternoon when police announced the search had been suspended, after a pair of goggles was all that had been found.
She did not want her first name released and started by thanking all of the agencies involved in the desperate search and the eyewitnesses who gave "very, very valuable accounts" including four teenage boys who raced along the shoreline in their dinghy, shouting at people to get out of the water, then rushed ashore to warn other beachgoers.
"It must have been an absolutely terrifying experience for them, so my heart goes out to them," she said, her voice wavering.
"I thank them for what they did."
She then thanked friends for support and love, which was especially needed given the UK couple's families were overseas and "it's hard because they may not be able to travel here to be with us".
"And finally, rest in peace Paul," she said.
"He died doing what he enjoyed doing the most, which was exercising."
Then, remarkably and bravely, she answered questions.
"We had been going down to the beach two or three times a week - we would go running first and then go swimming. He was due to swim for 1km on Saturday - I just went into the water and out again because it was cold and I'm not a huge fan of the cold water," she said.
Millachip was also a cyclist and did triathlons and marathons.
"He'd done six Iron Men down at Busselton, so he was fit and healthy."
She described the situation their family was grappling with as "hard" and her husband as "a lovely man and a great father".
"He was a wonderful man and a wonderful father, and he loved his exercise," she said.
"It came out of the blue but it did happen - we just have to deal with it."
An air and sea search for any trace of the swimmer that was scaled back after dark resumed at first light on Sunday, but by 3.30pm had been called off.
WA Police Fremantle district office acting inspector Troy Douglas said the search had been thorough and would only resume if there was "reason".
Water Police, Marine Rescue WA and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development vessels had scoured waters along with Surf Life Saving WA jet skis.
Fisheries Minister Don Punch earlier told reporters that the goggles would be swabbed in a bid to confirm who they belonged to.
Millachip was a regular swimmer at the popular beach, and his wife and children were there at the time of the attack.
"I want to extend my thoughts and sympathy for a family who are going through a lot of grief at the moment following the shark incident yesterday morning," Punch said.
"It's a time of immense sadness - certainly I know that the people who are out there searching today are feeling the weight of that sadness."
WA Premier Mark McGowan described the tragedy as "horrific" and very sad.
"A family is now grieving, a man has lost his life — it's a sad situation for everyone involved," McGowan said.
The Labor leader, minister and police praised the efforts of teenage boys.
"They actually quite vividly saw what was going on in the water," WA Police Acting Inspector Troy Douglas said.
"It's a fantastic effort. It was probably something you don't want to see. They reacted really, really well."
McGowan and the minister also paid credit to searchers, including shire staff.
"I'd like to particularly acknowledge the four young boys who helped clear the beach," Punch said.
"They saw the incident — it would have been a horrific thing to see - but they didn't flinch.
"They tried to protect swimmers in the water and I think they've been very brave young people. We can be proud of the actions that they took."