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Police conclude search for Tathra shark attack victim

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Ben Westcott and Fleta Page

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Shark victim 'went in a happy state of mind'

Christine Armstrong's husband says she wouldn't have known a thing about the attack, which he believes was by a bronze whaler shark. Nine News.

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Police have ended their search for the Tathra shark attack victim, saying there is no hope of finding her alive, as her husband told friends she died doing what she loved.

Rob Armstrong, husband of Christine, takes a moment to make a statement and thank the media for their discretion over the incident.

Rob Armstrong, husband of Christine, takes a moment to make a statement and thank the media for their discretion over the incident. Photo: Graham Tidy

The search continued on Friday for 63-year-old Tathra resident Christine Armstrong, who was taken by a shark on Thursday morning near Tathra Wharf.

At 5.18pm on Friday police announced they had concluded their search, following an extensive land and sea multi-agency effort.

Police said Mrs Armstrong’s swimming cap and goggles had been found late on Thursday afternoon and were identified by her husband.

Flowers rest on the front verandah of the Tathra SLSC club rooms. Click for more photos

Tathra fatal shark attack

At Tathra Beach, on the NSW far south coast, where Christine Armstrong was fatally attacked by a shark on April 3. Photo: Graham Tidy

A small amount of human remains had been found, which police said had convinced them Mrs Armstrong was killed by a shark.

In a statement, police said the Tathra Beach would stay closed overnight before lifesavers inspected the area on Saturday morning for shark activity.

Mrs Armstrong’s husband of 44 years, Rob Armstrong, said on Friday his wife had been "extremely happy" since returning from a New Zealand holiday.

Christine Armstrong and her husband of 44 years, Rob.

Christine Armstrong and her husband of 44 years, Rob. Photo: Channel Nine

He said he had received a large number of messages of support since the attack.

"The reason is not because of the shark attack, it’s because Chris only knew one way in life and that was love, and everyone loved her," Mr Armstrong said.

"I’ve never heard her say a bad word about anybody in her life ... she’s a very special sort of person."

Mr Armstrong said his wife had died doing something she loved and that he was sure she would have died quickly in the attack.

"Her friends need to know I am absolutely positively certain with all my experience that she wouldn’t have even known what hit her," he said.

"The shark was such a size and it’s consumed her basically completely ... she wouldn’t have even known what happened."

Crews kicked off the search for Mrs Armstrong at about 8.40am on Friday. Police officers briefed about a dozen volunteers.

Searching in the rain were two surf club boats, police divers and the Lifesaver 3 helicopter.

A surf club volunteer said the poor weather might reduce visibility but calm conditions would assist with the search.

Police said they are not looking for the shark responsible for the attack.

The shark attack happened on Thursday morning, when 63-year-old Tathra resident Mrs Armstrong was swimming near Tathra Wharf with her husband and their regular group.

She had separated from the group to head back to the beach when she was taken by a shark.

Police said earlier on Friday they had no expectations of finding Mrs Armstrong alive, after they found her swimming cap and goggles, as well as some human remains.

Her husband of 44 years, Rob Armstrong, said he had seen a three to four metre bronze whaler shark in the area where his wife had disappeared.

He said he had received a large number of messages of support following the attack.

"The reason is not because of the shark attack, it's because Chris only knew one way in life and that was love, and everyone loved her," he said.

"I've never heard her say a bad word about anybody in her life... she's a very special sort of person."

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