Horror as snorkelling mum was torn in half by massive 20ft great white shark in front of her four kids

A MOTHER was ripped apart by a 20ft great white shark in front of her screaming kids before the beast returned to devour her headless torso.

The gruesome death of Shirley Ann Durdin, 33, in front of her crying family is one of the most infamous attacks in Australian history.

In fact, when the mother-of-four had her head torn from her body on March 3, 1985, she was the first person in 10 years to have been killed by one of the sea predators in the south of the country, it has been reported.

Shirley was killed while diving for scallops in Peake Bay, South Australia while her loving family watched from the shore 150 yards away, reports Outside magazine.

According to eye witnesses, a giant great white shark estimated to be 20ft in length tore her in half.

The family had moved to the coast from the rural town of Karkoo – around an hour’s drive inland – because of her husband Barry’s severe allergies to farm life.

But, their dream move to the beach turned into a nightmare that day with a hysterical Barry having to be held down by onlookers.

The distraught husband reportedly shouted “she’s gone, she’s gone” as the shark chewed into the bloodied flesh of his soul mate, it has been reported.

Tragically, by the time rescuers arrived at the scene, all that remained of Shirley was a floating headless torso.

And as emergency workers attempted to retrieve her remains, the ruthless shark returned and devoured that as well, reports The Telegraph.