A SWIMMER was killed yesterday in an attack by a 19ft great white shark Kenneth Crew, 49, a father of three****
Shark kills bather yards from family beach
By Barbie Dutter in Sydney
Last Updated: 2:11PM BST 19 Jun 2001
A SWIMMER was killed yesterday in an attack by a 19ft great white shark as more than 100 people looked on from one of Western Australia's most popular family beaches.
Attacked: Kenneth Crew had his leg bitten off in waist-deep water
Kenneth Crew, 49, a father of three, was having his customary early morning dip with a group of friends off Cottesloe Beach, near Perth, when the shark struck in waist-deep water a few yards from the shore. Witnesses to Australia's third fatal shark attack within six weeks described how a huge fin was spotted circling Mr Crew for several minutes while he flailed his arms.
Mr Crew, a businessman, whose leg was bitten off, was brought ashore and died soon afterwards in the arms of a Catholic priest, his friend Fr Brian Morrison. A second man was also attacked after swimming out and punching the shark's body in an effort to save Mr Crew. Dirk Avery, 52, received deep cuts to his right leg and foot.
Fr Morrison said: "I was in the cafe, and heard the shout, 'Shark attack'. I looked up and saw a very large fin and a man with flailing arms. I raced to the beach and noticed a huge number of people gathered. Some went out into the water - two in particular tried to push the shark away - while others took hold of Ken and brought him to shore.
"In a matter of seconds the shark had disappeared and all we could do was bring Ken on to the beach. We worked furiously with two doctors but there was no way Ken could have survived.I whispered into his ear, 'Kenny, if you can hear me I'm going to give you the blessings of the Church, so squeeze my hand'. He squeezed my hand twice and I think it was just after that point that he passed away."
Kim Gamble, who saw the attack from the balcony of his cafe, said: "There was a whole sea of blood. The shark was really huge and frenzied."
All beaches in the area were closed yesterday as Western Australia's fisheries department tracked the shark and tried to herd it out to sea. Officials said it would only be killed "as a last resort" as the great white is a protected species.
In late September, a New Zealand man on honeymoon and a 17-year-old surfer were killed in separate attacks in South Australia. The spate of shark attacks has caused alarm among Australian bathers, but authorities were keen to stress that such deaths are still rare. In the past 200 years, Australia has recorded 185 fatal shark attacks, averaging less than one a year. Three deaths in six weeks is considered highly unusual.
New South Wales has not recorded a shark-related death for seven years, and the last fatal attack in Sydney harbour was in 1963. Mr Crew's death was the first fatal shark attack in the Perth area for 30 years.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... beach.html