A promising soccer star’s body has been recovered five days after he was swept off into the ocean in Western Australia.
Twenty-one-year-old Eric Birighitti had slipped on the rocks and fallen into the sea near Perth, reports People.
Birighitti, who played for the Football West’s Perth Soccer Club, was found at Twilight Beach by emergency divers searching for another missing bather. His remains were being attacked by three great white sharks at the time.
The Melbourne native has been playing college soccer in the United States. Shortly before the accident, he’d been playing for St Thomas Aquinas College in New York, where he was majoring in business management.
He joined the east coast team from Hastings College in Nebraska, who had given Birighitti a scholarship after the "grind, effort and hard work" he displayed at Football West's Perth Soccer Club.
The young sportsman was on holiday with friends and savouring the view when he slipped and fell into the ocean as he walked along the rocks.
“My sister and my father saw the sharks attacking the body. And it was quite a big one, they say,” a witness said.
Birighitti’s college team released a statement, saying, “The Broncos family are saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Eric Birighitti.
“Eric played for Hastings during the 2016 & 2017 season and won a national title for the team.
“He will be truly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
Birighitti’s passing comes at a difficult time for Australia, which is being ravaged by wildfires.