Department of Fisheries Western Australia

Media Release

Saturday 14 July 2012

The Department of Fisheries has been assisting WA Police, to investigate and follow up today’s fatal shark attack north of Lancelin, which occurred around 9am.

A surfer was taken by what is believed to have been a white shark, while he was surfing approximately 200 metres off an isolated beach about four kilometres south of Wedge Island.

Shark Response Unit spokesperson Tony Cappelluti said the department had deployed staff and resources to the site of the attack.

“The 20-metre Patrol Vessel Houtman and the Lancelin District vessel are on the scene and Fisheries and Marine Officers on board have been given the order to set shark capture gear,” Mr Cappelluti said.

“When last seen the shark was heading offshore, but we have placed baited lines in the water near the attack site, in an attempt to catch the shark should it return to the location or pose a threat in the area.

“To this time, no further shark sightings have been made in the area, since the fatal incident.

“Eyewitnesses at the location told Police they saw the shark swimming out to deeper water after the incident.”

Mr Cappelluti said the shark capture lines would remain in the water for the rest of the day.

“A decision will be made before nightfall to remove this gear and any further use would be dependent on any new shark sightings, operational assessments and weather conditions,” he said.

“The local shire has closed beaches in the area and will reassess that decision at some stage tomorrow, depending on whether there are further sightings or not.” (…)

Source: Department of Fisheries Western Australia