Pieces of wetsuit found in search for Australian surfer attacked by shark

Two pieces of wetsuit have been found in the search for a missing surfer near Esperance in West Australia.

Andrew Sharpe, 52, was attacked by a shark while surfing with friends at Kelp Beds Beach in Wylie Bay at 11am on Friday (local time).

The father-of-two was bitten on the leg and knocked off his board by a four-metre shark, witnesses told 9News.

Sharpe's friends rushed to help him, but as they approached, they watched the shark return and pull him underwater.

Eight surfers were in the water at the time and witnessed the attack, alongside bystanders on the beach.

Police say they have lost all hope of finding Sharpe alive.

"We don't hold any ongoing hope unfortunately for Mr Sharpe's survival," Senior Sergeant Justin Tarasinski told ABC News.

Hours after the attack, Sharpe's surfboard floated back ashore, indented with shark bite marks.

A marine search continued on Saturday morning after fading natural light halted operations on Friday night.

On Saturday two pieces of a wetsuit - believed to belong to Sharpe - were found in the ocean near where he was attacked. Local police told ABC News it would have to be tested for DNA.

Emergency services, including four police divers, continued searching the beach on Saturday until bad weather forced them to pause search efforts at 2pm (local time).

"We'll continue on for as long as we possibly can… and that's about trying to bring some closure to Mr Sharpe's family," Sergeant Tarasinski told ABC News.

Police said they would continue searching on Sunday.

In January, two people died as a result of shark attacks near Esperance. The recent attack is the fifth incident in the area in seven years.