01/05/2020 - Gary Johnson - Australia - *** Fatal ***

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alb
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01/05/2020 - Gary Johnson - Australia - *** Fatal ***

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Shark attack victim identified as Esperance man Gary Johnson as search for body resumes

A number of items including a gas tank have been retrieved from the water by police searching for the body of an Esperance man killed by a shark off Western Australia's south coast.
Key points:

Gary Johnson was attacked by a suspected great white shark while diving
Some of his gear was found near Cull Island but his body is still missing
It is understood Mr Johnson was an experienced recreational diver

Local man Gary Johnson had entered the water to go scuba diving off a boat near Cull Island on Sunday afternoon when moments later he was taken by a suspected great white shark.

His wife was on board the boat and made a frantic mayday call over the radio about 1:00pm.

Other nearby boat owners were the first on the scene near the island, about 7 kilometres offshore from Esperance, but all they could find was some of Mr Johnson's diving gear.

His wife was eventually taken back to shore where a waiting ambulance took her to Esperance Hospital suffering from shock.

Mr Johnson was an experienced recreational diver and president of the Esperance Dive Club.

He was also a well-liked member of the local community who worked for a farming machinery retailer and was a regular at the Esperance Squash Club.

"That's the saddest thing … they've been such great contributors, they knew the sea well and for Gary to lose his life in such a way is really very disappointing," he said.

"The man's knowledge of the ocean, his ability to dive, it's just unexplainable how come he was taken by a shark.

"I'm sure there'll be a lot of support for [his wife] as the survivor, and certainly around the dive community."

The shark responsible for the attack has not been found.

Beaches are expected to remain closed in the area until at least later today.
Gas tank among items retrieved by police divers

Police divers returned from the search for Mr Johnson's body this morning with an oxygen tank and other materials in a brown paper bag.

The items were carried straight to a waiting police car and driven The divers then went back out to sea to resume the search.

Boat owners who responded to the mayday call yesterday said there was little to be found.

"We found a couple of flippers and a sleeve in the water, basically that was about it," local Glenn Quinlivan said.

While police divers are attending the search for Mr Johnson, they are not entering the water as it has been deemed too dangerous.

Water Police, volunteer marine rescue and Department of Fisheries vessels are searching on the water, along with two surf rescue jet ski riders.

Police are also searching the ocean from above, while fisheries staff are deploying a remote-operated vehicle which can search beneath the surface.
Call for more action over shark attacks

It is the second fatal shark attack in Esperance in three years after 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer was bitten while surfing with her father at Kelp Beds in April 2017.
A profile shot of a smiling teenage girl with long blond hair.
Photo: Laeticia Brouwer was fatally attacked by a shark while surfing near Esperance in 2017. (Supplied: Police)

The Esperance Ocean Safety Group, which has campaigned for stronger action to minimise the shark threat, said it was frustrating more had not been done in response to previous attacks.

"It was only a matter of time, there have been so many [sharks] hanging around lately," the group's Mitch Capelli said.

"History is going to keep repeating itself unfortunately."

The WA Government is conducting a trial of so-called SMART drum lines in the South West region to try to reduce the number of shark attacks there after two non-fatal shark attacks in the area in recent years.

But the technology is not being trialled around Esperance.

Mr Mickel said the local council would examine the current drum line trials to see if they might work for Esperance.


There have been 16 fatal shark attacks in WA since 2000.

Cull Island is one of hundreds of small islands and rocky outcrops that form the Recherche Archipelago off the Esperance coast, which supports abundant marine life.

The island has little vegetation on it and is a popular destination for fishing, snorkelling and diving.

Locals attribute the name of the island to a few goats that are the sole inhabitants there.

https://www.abc.net.au/
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alb
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:41 pm

Re: 01/05/2020 - Gary Johnson - Australia - *** Fatal ***

Post by alb »

Shark attack victim identified as Esperance man Gary Johnson.jpg
If you or a loved one was involved in a negative sharky encounter please contact us!!!
http://sharkattacksurvivors.com/general ... ivors-only

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