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08/28/2011 Male ( Australia ) *** Fatal ***

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:59 pm
by alb

A Victorian builder has been found dead in shark-infested waters off the Queensland coast.

The 48-year-old man's body was found mauled by sharks, 13 hours after he went missing, off Palm Island.

Five helicopters and the Water Police searched for almost eight hours before recovering the body.

The man was last seen on Fantome Island, part of the Palm Island group - 65 kilometres off Townsville.

He and three friends were enjoying a day out, when their boat floated away.

Emergency Management Queensland's Allan Jefferson said: "Four of them went swimming out to the boat, three of them made it and the fourth one never got there.

"The person has gone into the water to retrieve the boat last night and has not returned."

Police were alerted around 7.30pm last night and scoured the waters, along with a rescue helicopter until 1am.

"It was a dark night last night," Allan said. "No moon and we're limited as to how low we can go at night."

Search efforts intensified at first light, with five helicopters from Townsville, Cairns, and Rockhampton combining efforts with the coastguard and other fishermen.

It is still unclear whether the man drowned or was taken by sharks first.

"We noticed a very big shark in the search area this morning," Allan said.

Inspector Ian Houghton, of Townsville Police, said: "The body was retrieved from water by the water police.

"The exact cause of death will be determined at a later time."

It is hoped an autopsy will provide hope for loved ones.

Police are now in the process of contacting the man's family. It is believed he is from Victoria working in North Queensland on refurbishment's in the Palm Island region. ... aters.html

Re: 08/28/2011 Male ( Australia ) *** Fatal ***

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:01 am
by alb
Shark spooked locals before fatal attack

A man's body was mauled by tiger sharks in waters avoided by locals because the predators had been circling since a whale carcass was discovered in the area a few weeks ago.

A crocodile had also taken up residence since Cyclone Yasi hit Far North Queensland in February.

A 48-year-old builder from Victoria died after he tried to swim out to retrieve a boat that had drifted away from a beach on picturesque Fantome Island about 65km northeast of Townsville.

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Townsville District Inspector Ian Haughton said the man's body had been mauled by tiger sharks.

But it was not possible to tell if the wounds were inflicted before or after his death.

It has emerged that locals had been staying out of the waters because tiger sharks had been circling the islands since a whale carcass was found floating nearby a few weeks ago.

There was also a crocodile in the waters, according to Kristyn Morgan from Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council.

"The tiger sharks have been here since the whale was in the water and the sharks were eating it, they have been hanging around," she said.

"Locals wouldn't swim in there, there's also been a croc about since the cyclone.

"But he wasn't a local so he didn't know."

Inspector Haughton said the Victorian man was a builder contracted to complete renovations at nearby Orpheus Island.

On Sunday, he set off in a boat with friends to explore the area and stopped off on Fantome Island.

The three walked up the beach to take a look around when the boat started to drift away from the beach about 7pm.

The man swan off to retrieve the boat and never returned.

Police were alerted and launched a search, involving helicopters, planes and boats.

The search continued yesterday morning with nine boats involved in a gird search.

The man's body was found about three nautical miles from Fantome Island about 9.45am.

Inspector Haughton said a post-mortem would be conducted in Townsville to determine whether the man drowned, died of natural causes or was killed by sharks.

A report would be prepared for the coroner.

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