Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Man dies in Australia shark attack

A man has been killed by a shark while diving with his brother off a beach in south-west Australia, police said.

It is the fourth fatal shark attack in Australia since September, all of them taking place off the continent's south-west corner.

Police spokeswoman sergeant Naomi Smith said the two men were diving from a boat off Stratham Beach, about 140 miles south of Perth, the Western Australia state capital, when one of the brothers was attacked. The other brother was unharmed.

The fisheries department has launched an investigation which will include an examination of bite marks on the victim's body to determine the shark species.

Tina Thorne, of the department's shark response unit, said an aeroplane and two government boats are searching for the shark.

She said while police had initially reported that the attack had happened 200 yards from the beach, authorities later calculated that it had happened about a mile from shore.

Experts have been unable to explain the spate of attacks in Australia's south west, but agree that different sharks are probably responsible for each fatality.

The last fatal attack in Australia was American George Wainwright, 32, who was taken on October 22 by a 10ft great white while diving solo off a boat near Rottnest Island, 11 miles west of Perth. A great white of the same size is believed to have taken 64-year-old Australian swimmer Bryn Martin off Perth's premier Cottesloe Beach on October 10.

The attacks followed the September 4 death of bodyboarder Kyle Burden, 21, who was killed by a shark described as 15 feet long at a beach south of Perth. Witnesses were unsure of the type of shark.

Australia averages little more than one fatal attack a year along an expansive 22,000-mile coast, although attacks have become more common in recent decades as more people take part in ocean recreation.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph