Bitten in half - sharks kill again in Australia

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A 20ft shark has struck in the waters off Western Australia, killing a deck hand by biting him in half as he snorkelled with tourists.

A 20ft shark has struck in the waters off Western Australia, killing a deck hand by biting him in half as he snorkelled with tourists.

The 26-year-old man, who was guiding tourists around the Abrolhos Islands, 37 miles off the coast of Perth, was killed instantly by the shark, whose type is not yet known. Tiger sharks have been seen swimming in some quantity in the area.

None of the swimmers who were with the victim were injured, but it is not yet known how many were in his group, Perth Police Inspector George Putland, who is investigating the killing, said. The victim's body has not yet been recovered, and a search for his remains will continue today.

It was the latest in a spate of killings which have unnerved tourists and beach dwellers alike. Nine people have been killed by sharks in the past five years, with two killed in Australian seas within a few days of each other in December. One victim, Mark Thompson, 38, was killed by a shark while spearing fish on the Great Barrier Reef, off Cairns, in north Queensland. He suffered a heart attack after the shark savaged his leg.

That same week, a great white shark tore apart 18-year-old Nick Petersen as he surfed off the coast of Adelaide, an area scientists have named "Grand Central Station" for the predators.

Despite the fact that great whites are a protected species, the authorities have announced that the shark that killed Mr Thompson should be killed because it was a threat to swimmers.

Although the recent spate of shark attacks has given rise to a popular misconception that such incidents are on the increase, scientists argue that the attacks are decreasing. They point to the fact that only a handful of people die from attacks each year.

Comments