Shark hunt underway after Australian diver killed

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Posted by on March 20, 2005 at 11:03:52:

In Reply to: Deckhand killed in shark attack posted by on March 19, 2005 at 11:05:28:

Authorities were hunting Sunday for a six-meter (20-foot) shark that tore a man in half as he snorkeled off Australia's west coast, an official said.

Geoffrey Brazier, the skipper of a pleasure cruiser, was snorkeling with two tourists when he was attacked Saturday. He died instantly off the Abrolhos Islands, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of the Western Australia state capital, Perth, police said. No one else was injured.

"The 26-year-old man was bitten in half by the six-meter (20-foot) animal and death seemed to be instantaneous," police Insp. George Putland said.

An air and sea search of the area 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the coastal town of Geraldton Sunday failed to find the shark or human remains.

Government fisheries officer Rory McAuley said authorities wanted to kill the shark, suspected to be either a great white or tiger, to safeguard the public.

Residents of the area said the killer was far larger than sharks usually found there. The attack was the first to occur off the west coast since two sharks killed a 29-year-old surfer south of Perth in July.

The 13 crew and passengers disembarked Sunday at Geraldton where they were questioned by authorities.

The fatality is the first in Australian waters since December, when an 18-year-old surfer was bitten in half by a five-meter (16-foot) great white shark off a beach in the southern city of Adelaide. A week earlier, a shark killed a 38-year-old diver spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef off northeast Australia.

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