Search continues as chopper spooks shark in sea rescue

A media helicopter has spooked a massive hammerhead shark to help rescue a man after a fishing accident off Western Australia which has left one dead and another missing.

A media helicopter has spooked a massive hammerhead shark to help rescue a man after a fishing accident off Western Australia which has left one dead and another missing.

The 49-year-old man was flown to Perth following a fishing accident off the Mid West coast yesterday.

A sea-and-air search for the three men was launched last night when they failed to return from a fishing trip off the coast of Leeman yesterday.

It is believed they were thrown into the water by two big waves about 3.30pm (AWST) yesterday.

Two of the men, aged 49 and 23, were plucked from the ocean just before midday today.

Rescue crews tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the 23-year-old man.

The 49-year-old man is in a stable condition and has been transferred to Royal Perth Hospital.

Peter Trevitt from Water Police says the search for the third man, also aged 23, is still underway.

"We have the Australian Search and Rescue aircraft, the Dornier, and two fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters, plus five vessels, concentrating on a search area just north of the Beagle Islands," he said.

Police say the search will continue into the night.

Amazing rescue

The 49-year-old man was man spotted earlier today from a Channel 7 helicopter by reporter Grant Taylor.

Taylor spoke to ABC 720 as the Channel 7 helicopter hovered over the man while he awaited rescue.

Taylor said a large hammerhead shark was circling the man.

"When we first spotted him, one of the scariest things was there was a massive hammerhead shark not 20 metres away from him, just slowly circling around him," he said.

"We managed in our helicopter to try and drive the shark away from him."

A rescue air craft dropped a life raft 100 metres away from the man but he was unable to reach it.

"I'm looking at him, he's looking at us," Taylor said

"He just keeps putting his hands together praying, but he doesn't realise there's a boat just right behind him as we speak right now. 'Come on mate, just turn around and have a look, you're saved'. He's yelling 'help'.

"He's stark naked ... just struggling to swim and float on his back and try and keep his head out of the water.

"He keeps waving at our chopper trying to get us to come down and help him but there's nothing we can actually do from our [helicopter]."

Taylor says the man was eventually was eventually rescued by the boat.

"He's just turned around and seen the boat. Oh, he's putting his hands up out of the water, his head's going under as we look," he said.

"Excuse me getting a bit overwrought here but we've just been so desperately helpless, flying over the top for a good 10 minutes.

"They've just pulled him onto some stairs, he's safe, finally after all this he's safe."