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03/19/2005 Geoffrey Brazier (Australia) ***Fatal***
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:04 am
Saturday, March 19, 2005. 11:16pm (AEDT)
The fatal attack is said to have happened off the Abrolhos Islands. (ABC TV)
Man killed in shark attack
A man has been killed in a shark attack off the West Australian coast.
Police say the 26-year-old deckhand was with a group of tourists snorkelling off the Abrolhos Islands, about 500 kilometres north of Perth, when he was attacked by a six-metre shark.
It is understood the man died from massive injuries.
Police say the group was from a luxury charter boat called the Matrix, which was on its maiden voyage to the Kimberley.
Police say it was moored off Pelseart Island when the attack happened.
The incident was witnessed by a group of tourists and the man's work mates, some of which were in the water at the time.
Nobody else was injured.
Sergeant Nicky Young says police and fisheries officers are on their way to the boat.
"My staff are out there in order to conduct a coronial investigation and the fisheries are out there in order to conduct a search for the shark."
Sergeant Young says it is not known what species of shark was involved in the attack.
"Information from fisheries is that there's a lot of tiger sharks in the area."
It is the third fatal shark attack off the West Australian coast in the past five years.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:04 am
Last Update: Sunday, March 20, 2005. 1:57pm (AEDT)
The skipper of a cruise boat was killed while snorkelling off the Abrolhos Islands. (ABC TV)
Distressed shark attack witnesses head for shore
Witnesses traumatised by a shark attack on the skipper of their tourist boat off the Western Australian coast are making their way to shore.
Geoffrey Brazier, 26, from Perth was savaged by a six-metre shark while snorkelling with two other people at the Abrolhos Islands.
Mr Brazier was the skipper of the luxury cruise vessel Matrix, which was making its maiden voyage from Perth to Broome.
Senior Sergeant Shaun Miller says the Matrix is returning to Geraldton, where police will seek to speak further with witnesses.
"They're obviously very distressed at this particular time [but] we need to speak to them further," he said.
"There's people on the boat that we need to interview to get further information about the shark and the circumstances around Mr Brazier being taken by the shark."
The WA Fisheries Department, police and State Emergency Service officers are searching for the shark, which they intend to kill and use for forensic investigations.
Fisheries officer Rory McAuley says there are two reasons why they are hunting the shark.
"One of the reasons I believe is that they're looking for the remains of the victim, which will obviously be necessary for a coronial inquiry," Mr McAuley said.
"I guess the other main reason is to ensure that the shark poses no ongoing risk to public safety."
Sergeant Miller has urged rock lobster fishermen and their families on the islands to stay out of the water while authorities search for the shark.
"We have gone through the fisheries and people who are on the Abrolhos Islands [and] warned them in relation to a person being taken by a shark," he said.
"Obviously the message would be at this stage for all person to remain in vessels and on land and not venture into the water."
Greg Davis from the Geraldton Professional Fishermen's Association says those who live and work at the Abrolhos Islands are in shock, especially given a lot of them are surfers and scuba divers.
"It's always something that's in the back of your mind but some people have said that they won't go surfing at the Abrolhos again ... stuff like this," Mr Davis said.
"I've been going to the islands since I was born - 42 years - and it's the first time there's been a fatal shark attack as far as I'm aware in that time," he added.
However, Mr Davis says sharks are not an uncommon site in the area.
"You see a shark or two but it's par for the course because they live out there and the islands are ... not far from the edge of the shelf," he said.
"[It's] quite deep water and that's their habitat."
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:05 am
Search for shark attack victim's remains
March 20, 2005 - 2:04PM
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A search is underway for the remains of a charter boat deckhand, killed by a shark as he snorkelled with tourists off the West Australian coast.
The shark attack which killed the 26-year-old man is the third in Western Australia in four-and-a-half years.
The deckhand was taken and killed instantly by a six-metre shark about 2pm (WST) on Saturday as he snorkelled with passengers from a luxury vessel near Geraldton, 430km north of Perth, police said.
The charter vessel, the Matrix, was on its maiden voyage on the Perth to Kimberley route when the tragedy happened.
It was moored at Wreck Point, in the south-east corner of Pelseart Island, which is part of the Abrolhos Islands group, 60km west from the port of Geraldton.
"A 26-year-old deckhand was in the sea snorkelling with passengers of the vessel when he was seen to be taken by a large shark described as being approximately six metres in length," the spokesman said.
"It would appear that he died instantly; his body has not been recovered."
AdvertisementThe boat's skipper raised the alarm and on Sunday police and Department of Fisheries officers are investigating the attack and searching for the man's remains.
Police said it was not clear how many passengers and crew were on the boat but no-one else was attacked or injured.
Staff and crew from the boat are being interviewed.
A Fisheries spokesman said two patrol boats, an operations manager and a senior fisheries officer were working with police.
He said the department's foremost expert of sharks was also on his way to Geraldton to help with the investigation.
The boat's owners, Matrix Ocean Adventures, have declined comment on the tragedy.
A spokesman said the company would rather "let the facts come out" from authorities.
"We still don't know the full details, police are still investigating so I don't want to make a comment on something I don't know the full details of," the spokesman said.
He said the company would be extending sympathy to the man's family and friends "but I think we'll do that in private".
The company's website says the 24-metre Matrix, with six cabins and private ensuite facilities, is the largest and most luxurious catamaran cruising the Kimberley coast.
Launched in September last year, it cruises for up to 13 nights at a time, departing from Broome or Wyndham with a maximum of 12 passengers.
Trevor Beaver, owner of Geraldton's Batavia Coast Dive Academy, said he was not surprised to hear of the fatal shark attack near the southern island.
"I was not really surprised, I believe sharks follow the whale migration patterns along the coast although it is probably a little bit early for that," he said.
The fatal shark attack is the third such incident in WA in four-and-a-half years, with victims being taken in locations along the bottom third of the state's coastline.
Last July, 29-year-old surfer Brad Smith died after being attacked by a shark while surfing off Gracetown, about 270km south-west of Perth.
And in November 2000, 49-year-old Ken Crew died in a shark attack at North Cottesloe beach in Perth in an early morning swim.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:06 am
Deckhand dead in shark attack
By JIM KELLY and NADIA MIRAUDO
A MAN, 26, was killed by a 6m white pointer shark at the Abrolhos Islands yesterday.
The shark struck about 2pm as a group of tourists from a luxury charter vessel was snorkelling near Pelsaert Island, 80km off Geraldton and about 500km north of Perth.
The dead man was understood to have been a deckhand on the 24m charter boat the Matrix.
A nearby Fisheries Department vessel went to the scene yesterday afternoon to search for the man's body.
It as WA's third fatal shark attack in four years.
In July, surfer Brad Smith, 29, of Rockingham, was taken by a white pointer off Cowaramup, north of Margaret River.
In November 2000, Ken Crew, 49, was killed at North Cottesloe.
On March 21 last year, a 5m white pointer scared swimmers from the water at Cottesloe.
Weeks earlier, Greg Pickering, 47, a professional diver from Ocean Reef, survived a mauling from a 1.5m bronze whaler off Cervantes.
Two weeks ago, a spearfisherman was stalked by a 5m white pointer off Floreat Beach.
Margaret River locals said there had been many shark sightings in the past few weeks.
Water Police Sen-Constable Lou Hynd said the Matrix was on its way to the Kimberley and had stopped off at the Abrolhos Islands to allow the tourists to snorkel.
He said the man's body might not be recovered.
A nearby Fisheries vessel, the McLachlan , had been sent to the area to help in the search.
Sen-Constable Hynd said the victim's family was being notified.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:06 am
March 21, 2005, 12:29AM
Australia shark search ends days after deadly attack
Reuters News Services
SYDNEY - Australian police called off a search on Monday for the remains of a man and for the shark that bit him in half in a horrifying attack witnessed by tourists on a luxury boat off Australia's remote west coast.
Boat captain Geoffrey Brazier, 26, died when a shark described as up to six metres (20 feet) long attacked him while he was snorkelling on Saturday near the Abrolhos Islands, 400 km (250 miles) north of the Western Australia state capital Perth.
Brazier was attacked by either a great white shark or a tiger shark, both of which are common in the area, authorities said.
Twelve other passengers and crew from the catamaran Matrix watched the attack in horror, with some saying the shark went straight for Brazier. Several other divers who were in the water with him were unhurt.
"It came in, bit him in half, went away for five or 10 minutes then came back for the other half," said Steve Thorne, a manager for the company that operated the boat charter.
In December, an 18-year-old surfer was killed off a beach in South Australia by what witnesses described as a great white shark measuring up to five metres (16 feet).
"The reason why it has been called off is that the currents up there are such that anything would have been taken out to sea," police spokesman Graham Clifford told reporters.
"Also, the Abrolhos is a lot of islands and (has) a big volume of fish and many, many sharks ... we don't think there's anything left," he said.
Australia has a reputation for shark attacks, with Brazier's death the fourth fatal shark attack in the past nine months. International Shark File figures show most attacks occur in North American waters.
The first documented shark attack in Australia was in 1791 and there have been more than 625 attacks in the past 200 years, about 190 of them fatal.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:07 am
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Authorities were hunting Sunday for a six-meter (20-foot) shark that tore a man in half as he snorkeled off Australia's west coast, an official said.
Geoffrey Brazier, the skipper of a pleasure cruiser, was snorkeling with two tourists when he was attacked Saturday. He died instantly off the Abrolhos Islands, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the Western Australia state capital, Perth, police said. No one else was injured.
"The 26-year-old man was bitten in half by the six-meter animal and death seemed to be instantaneous," police Inspector George Putland said.
An air and sea search of the area 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the coastal town of Geraldton on Sunday failed to find the shark or human remains.
Government fisheries officer Rory McAuley said authorities wanted to kill the shark, suspected to be either a great white or tiger, to safeguard the public.
Residents of the area said the killer was far larger than sharks usually found there. The attack was the first to occur off the west coast since two sharks killed a 29-year-old surfer south of Perth in July.
The 13 crew and passengers disembarked Sunday at Geraldton where they were questioned by authorities.
The fatality is the first in Australian waters since December, when an 18-year-old surfer was bitten in half by a five-meter (16-foot) great white shark off a beach in the southern city of Adelaide. A week earlier, a shark killed a 38-year-old diver spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef off northeast Australia.