A spearfisherman was killed by a great white shark over the weekend off the Australian coast as his friends watched on in horror.

Sam Kellet, 28, was spearfishing with friends off Goldsmith Beach when the attack occurred, the Daily Mail reports. Eyewitnesses say they saw the victim thrashing violently in the water just after the shark approached him. It is unclear if the victim’s body has been recovered.

This latest shark attack comes as the Western Australian Government defends its shark culling program on a global scale. The policy, which allows great white, tiger, and bull sharks larger than 9 feet in length to be killed on sight, has come under heavy criticism from animal activists who state there is no scientific evidence that destroying these sharks will reduce the number of human attacks, which have steadily increased over the last few years.

Despite the manner of his death, the family said Kellett had a great love of the ocean and had respect for sharks, according to the

“He knew he was a visitor in their backyard, and the last thing he would want is for this shark, or any other, to be hunted down and culled,” the family said in a press statement.