Rob Armstrong knew something was wrong.
A bird came out of nowhere and swooped down on him, almost as if it were trying to warn him of the grave danger he and his wife Christine would soon be in.
It was shortly afterwards that Armstrong and his swimming group noticed a large whaler shark heading in their direction.
No one panicked.
The group simply tightened their swimming formation and headed back to the safety of the beach. Once ashore, the sense of relief was palpable.
“We thought everything was safe and we just hugged each other,” said Armstrong. “Then we found that Chris wasn’t in the change rooms.”
Rob Armstrong hadn’t been concerned about his 44-year-old wife because his 70-year-old swimming buddy had seemed the more likely target of the predatory animal.
Incredibly brave and emotional comments from Rob Armstrong after his wife was taken by a shark. Christine was loved by all. #7NewsMelbAt_6
— Peter Mitchell (@Peter_Mitchell7) April 4, 2014
Realizing that Christine Armstrong had not made it to land, members of the swimming group quickly took an inflatable rescue boat out to where the shark had been sighted.
It was then that Rob Armstrong and the others made the heart-breaking discovery: His wife had likely been devoured almost whole during a horrific shark attack.
Armstrong believes that Christine experienced a “quick death” and didn’t suffer.
“The shark was such a size and it’s consumed her basically completely,” he said, “She wouldn’t have even known it happened.”
It has been reported that only the victim’s swimming cap, goggles, and scant human remains were recovered from the water. What little was found is scheduled to undergo forensic testing.
Authorities are still trying to locate the rest of Christine Armstrong’s body.
Tathra Beach, the site of the incident, was briefly closed. It has since been re-opened to the public with the support of the Armstrong family.
Rob Armstrong insists that his late wife died doing something that she loved. He’s also confident that she will be missed by many.
“Chris only knew one way in life and that was love, and everyone loved her.”
Image via YouTube