Shark attack near Bald Island: man spearfishing thought ‘bump’ was boat
A man was discharged from a West Australian hospital today after being “bumped” then dragged by a shark while spearfishing off the stretch of south coast where a teenager was killed by a shark last summer.
The 50-year-old from Perth initially thought he had been hit by a boat, according to a spokesperson from Fisheries WA.
He was spearfishing close to Bald Island, a small nature reserve in the Southern Ocean close to the city of Albany. It is adjacent to Cheynes Beach, the closest mainland point to where 17-year-old Jay Muscat was spearfishing in deep water last December when he was fatally mauled by a great white shark.
The man attacked today required seven stitches in his torso. He displayed a wetsuit with punctures and tear marks and told Channel Seven he believes he would be dead of not for the speargun in his right hand when the shark struck.
“I was swimming right up next to the island when all of a sudden without seeing anything I got hit on the right hand side with a great force,” he said.
“I can honestly say I did not see the shark”
He made his way to the shallows and his two friends helped him get back in the boat.
The southeastern side of Bald Island is considered a shark hotspot; Fisheries WA believes big numbers of large white sharks move through that stretch of water east of Albany.
Last April near Mistaken Island, on the opposite side of Albany’s King George Sound, Fisheries officers captured a 5.04m white shark and successfully tagged it for monitoring. The female is the largest shark ever to be fitted with an internal tag.