Aussie cricket legend loses son and wife within 15 minutes
An Australian cricketing legend is in deep shock after his son and wife died in water within 15 minutes of each other, but 2,700 kilometres apart.
Sam Loxton's 47-year-old son Michael, bled to death after being attacked by a shark while swimming 50 metres from the shore in Fiji. His 75-year-old second wife was found lying face down in the family's pool on Australia's Gold Coast after apparently falling in after hitting her head.
Mr Loxton was a member of Sir Donald Bradman's 1948 Invincibles side and is a former Victoria MP and footballer.
Michael Loxton bled to death after being mauled by the shark which tore off his right leg and buttocks as he tried to swim ashore from his anchored boat. Injuries to his hands indicated Mr Loxton tried to fight off the shark, said Fijian medical officer Mohammed Ishaque.
"His leg had bite marks on it, too, indicating the shark took two bites, one injuring the leg and the next bite taking the entire leg and buttock off. Mr Loxton bled to death within about five minutes", he added.
Mrs Loxton had recently spent 11 days on tour with her husband and several members of the 1948 Invincibles team before cutting her trip short.
Family members who had learned of Michael Loxton's death after news of his step-mother's death, didn't tell the elderly cricketing great until later, reports the Australian Herald Sun newspaper.
"We didn't think Sam would be able to cope, losing his wife and son on the same day. It's just too horrible to imagine. We didn't want poor Sam to have a heart attack," said a family friend.
The newspaper says that Michael was planning to introduce his Fijian wife to his father for the first time. He had been living in Fiji for about 16 years.
The younger Mr Loxton's heartbroken widow, Salote Qoriniasi, 43, said: "I'm devastated. He was a very responsible man. I wish to thank Australia for producing such a fine son. His many talents have been very much appreciated by my country. His generous heart and willingness to share his talents with Fiji will be sorely missed."