An Australian kitesurfer has been killed by a shark in New Caledonia

Photo: Getty / Dan Kitwood

A West Australian man has been killed by a shark while kitesurfing in Koumac, in New Caledonia.

The man, believed to have been in his 50s, was kitesurfing inside a reef when he was attacked.

The Marine Rescue Coordination Centre said a nearby catamaran raised the alarm after witnessing the incident.

A rescue boat delivered first aid, but the man was declared dead just over an hour later.

Koumac, New Caledonia. By Kendec (Own work) <a href=’′>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, <a href=’’>via Wikimedia Commons</a>

“He suffered a deep bite to the thigh from a big shark. We don’t know for the moment what species it was,” Nicolas Renaud, head of the archipelago’s marine rescue coordination centre, said.

The man’s identity has not been released.

Australian consular officials are assisting the man’s family.