01/14/2006 Bernie Williams (Australia)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2006.

01/14/2006 Bernie Williams (Australia)

Postby sharkbait » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:17 am

Shark attacks diver at beach

January 15, 2006
A SCUBA diver has been attacked by a white pointer off a Perth beach, as the occupants of a nearby boat tried to warn the man that a shark was in the water.

Brian Williams, 52, of the northern Perth beachside suburb of Sorrento, was bitten on the left elbow after the shark grabbed him from behind as he was scuba diving about 3km offshore from City Beach.

He fought off the animal by hitting him with a spear gun.

His injuries were not life threatening, police and the Fisheries department said.

The predator was believed to be a three to 3.5 metre white pointer.

He was recovering in a Perth hospital after the attack, which happened about 11am (WST) today.

The attack came as the occupants of a boat, which was in the area near the man's unoccupied dive vessel, were being circled by a shark.

They rang police who suggested they try to warn the diver of the danger.

"They advised Water Police that there was a dive vessel nearby with a flag up and there was nobody on board," the Fisheries spokesman said.

"The Water Police requested that they go over in the general vicinity and rev the engine of the boat to attract the attention of the people under water."

Shortly after, the diver surfaced, but he had already been attacked.

It was believed he had separated from the other divers at the time of the attack, the Fisheries spokesman said.

"One of the other divers apparently had some sort of a shark shield operation – a commercial shark repellant – and that may have helped them in the process of them getting back on board safely," the spokesman said.

Surf Life Savers plucked the man from the water, taking him to shore in an inflatable rescue boat. He was taken to hospital by ambulance.

"He was walking and talking," a life saver said.

The shark patrol aircraft and a Fisheries and police vessel went to the area to search for the shark but there has been no sighting.

It is not known if the beach was closed.

There have been three shark fatalities in West Australia since 2000.

In 2000, Perth businessman Ken Crew, 49, died after his leg was ripped off by what was believed to be a white pointer shark up to four metres long off Cottesloe Beach.

In July 2004, Brad Smith, 30, died after being attacked by a shark while surfing at Gracetown, about 270 km south-west of Perth.

In March last year, 26-year-old Geoffrey Brazier was killed by a six metre shark while snorkelling off the Abrolhos Islands, 60 km west of Geraldton.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/co ... 02,00.html
Last edited by sharkbait on Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sharkbait » Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:36 pm

Man to keep diving after WA shark attack
Email Print Normal font Large font January 16, 2006 - 5:44AM


AdvertisementA scuba diver injured in a shark attack off Perth says he wrenched his bleeding arm from the predator's jaws and hid in a crevice on the ocean floor until he was rescued.

Despite his brush with a 3.5m white pointer Bernie Williams, of the northern Perth beachside suburb of Sorrento, vowed to continue diving - with a shark repellant.

He believes it was the arrival of a diving companion with a shark repellant that chased away the great white.

Mr Williams was diving for crayfish when he was bitten on the left arm by the shark about 5.5km off Perth's City Beach.

"I just felt like I'd been hit by a truck on the side ... and there was a very large shark head hanging off my arm, trying to chew it," Mr Williams told ABC radio.

The predator took Mr Williams for a "bit of a ride" before releasing him to try to take another bite.

But Mr Williams pulled his hand free and shot down to the ocean floor where he hid in a crevice.

"I had a perfect view of it when it came at me the second time, and across its head would have (measured) three or four hundred millimetres," he said.

The shark made several more attempts to attack Mr Williams, disappearing into the gloom and lunging back from different directions, before the arrival of his two diving companions, including one named Brian wearing a shark repellant.

"I think I was actually on the bottom hiding, and being chased around, for the best part of four or five minutes and then I ran into my buddies.

"We all bunched up around Brian, with the shark pod, ... and the shark disappeared."

The attack came as a group of fishermen in a boat, which was in the area near the man's unoccupied dive vessel, were being circled by a shark.

The fishermen hauled the trio into their boat and took them to shore where Mr Williams was rushed to Sir Charles Gairdner hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said on Monday Mr Williams remained in a stable condition but was still undergoing treatment.

Mr Williams said the shark was the biggest he had ever seen in 20 years of diving but he would continue to scuba dive.

"But I'll definitely be investing in a shark pod," he said.

Swimmers at nearby beaches were not alerted to the shark attack because it occurred so far offshore, Fisheries officers said.

But a patrol vessel was sent to the area to hunt for the shark, and it continued to patrol, warning boats and divers that the attack had occurred.

There have been three shark fatalities in West Australia since 2000.

In November 2000, businessman Ken Crew, 49, died after his leg was ripped off by what was believed to be a white pointer shark up to four metres long off Cottesloe Beach.

In July 2004, Brad Smith, 30, died after being attacked by a shark while surfing at Gracetown, about 270km south-west of Perth.

In March last year, 26-year-old Geoffrey Brazier was killed by a six metre shark while snorkelling off the Abrolhos Islands, 60km west of Geraldton.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/ ... 63289.html
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Postby sharkbait » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:52 pm

Shark attack horror still haunts me
Ulster-born diver tells of brush with death

By Lesley-Anne Henry

31 July 2006
The Londonderry diver who survived a shark attack in Western Australia says he still gets scared when he sees sharks on TV.

Six months after his terrifying ordeal and Brian (Bernie) Williams, who emigrated from the city with his family 30 years ago, finds wildlife programmes bring those spine-chilling moments flooding back.

Amazingly, Brian suffered only lacerations when the 3.5 metre Great White shark bit into his left arm, dragged him through the water and tried to take a second bite.

The 46-year-old electrician had to wrench his arm free and flee to a seabed crevice until he was rescued.

Since then, Perth's winter weather conditions have prevented the father-of-three from diving to date, but when he does get back in next summer Brian says he will definitely be "looking over his shoulder".

He said: "I had to stay out of the water for about eight weeks just because of bandages and everything else. I went for a bit of a swim, but it was sort of towards the end of summer over here and the weather goes a bit foul and the water gets a bit churned up so it wasn't for very long. The weather really hasn't been pleasant enough to go out and dive so it will probably be next summer before I am back in.

"I wouldn't say I was confident of going back. It's probably still going to be a bit hairy for a while. I'll definitely be looking over my shoulder. I hope there are no issues there, but it's like everything else, if I'm just not comfortable or it starts to get a bit worrying then maybe I'll have to take up golf or something like that."

Asked by the Belfast Telegraph if he still suffers nightmares, Brian said: "Not so much nightmares, but every time we watch one of those wildlife programmes and see the sharks swimming around it brings back a few memories."

In the months following the traumatic attack Brian has had plastic surgery on his wound, but has not needed further treatment for the past month.

He recalled: "Its teeth slid up the side of the bone, chipped the bone and just missed the artery and the nerve buckle but it's gone in quite deep. So I've got a scar about 100mm or 4ins long - very surgical, very clean cut. It went straight in and luckily when I pulled my arm out it came straight out. It chipped a little bit of the bone.

"Like I said, luckily it missed most of the nerve buckles so there was no permanent damage. The arm itself round the scarring is still pretty numb, but I've been told that the feeling will come back over a number of years.

"Infection, apparently, is quite common on these things and also the impact which forces the water into the wound can cause a bit of grief, so they kept me in hospital for a while just to make sure there wasn't any bleeding.

"Over about two or three months I had to go back reasonably often just for them to have a look at me and make sure nothing was causing me any problems, but bar being very sore it wasn't really incapacitating.

"The only thing now they are telling me is that there is always a possibility there may be a bit of damage or a bit of a patch that may raise its head. They told me if there are any issues to go back, but probably the last time I went back would be at least a month ago and they sort of signed everything off and said 'yes it's fine, just keep an eye on it'. Hopefully everything will just fix itself up."

Brian was back at work within a fortnight and in the six months since his shocking attack he has become something of a local celebrity.

He added: "The old 15 minutes of fame certainly was going there for a while.

"The electrical company I work for have a section of it like a sheet metal form shop and every now and then they seem obligated to stick up a set of sharks teeth.

"I have had a few shark toys sent to me, but it's all in good humour.

"People you don't see that often always ask you how you've recovered and for a while there it was fairly intense, but after about four or five weeks it seemed to have died a natural death.

"At this stage it is more on the novelty side of things and it is a good story to tell the kids.

"With all the articles and all the newspapers my wife got plenty of cuttings. She took plenty off the net and every now and then, if I need a reminder, it's just a matter of flicking through all those. It's something to show the kids. Although they all know what happened, I think they were too young to realise the impact."

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/ ... ory=700708
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