Great white shark kills diver in Australia
SYDNEY, October 22, 2011 (AFP) – An American diver is believed to be the latest victim of a fatal shark attack in Western Australia, police said Saturday, just days after a man vanished while swimming in waters off the state capital Perth.
The 32-year-old was on an unaccompanied dive off Rottnest Island off Perth when witnesses waiting for him on their boat noticed something amiss.
“A least one of them saw a large amount of bubbles,” police sergeant Gerry Cassidy told AFP.
“And a short time later the deceased surfaced with obviously traumatic and fatal injuries.”
One witness later saw a three-metre (10-foot) great white shark in the water.
Police were called and retrieved the body, believed to be that of a United States citizen studying in Australia, from the water about 500 metres (yards) northwest of Little Armstrong Bay. Details of the injuries were not known.
The death is thought to be the second fatal attack by a great white shark in Western Australia this month after a man failed to return from a swim at popular Cottesloe Beach on October 10.
Police divers later found the swimming trunks of 64-year-old Bryn Martin on the sea floor, and said the damage to them was consistent with a shark attack.
“Fisheries experts have viewed the bathers and were of the opinion the damage is consistent with what a white pointer shark could cause,” local police official Neil Blair said at the time.
The deaths follow that of a bodyboarder from a shark attack near Dunsborough, also in Western Australia, last month.
That incident was the first fatal shark attack in the country since February, when a man diving for abalone was savaged off South Australia, and only the fourth since December 2008.
Sharks are a common feature of Australian waters but fatal attacks are rare, with only 24 recorded deaths in the 20 years up to June 2009, or an average of just 1.2 shark-related deaths per year according to official data.
Great white sharks are large, rare marine predators which can grow to longer than 6.4 metres.
Note: Video US Diver Killed in Shark Attack in Australia
Map ( below ) : PerthNow