Australia shark search ends days after deadly attack

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Posted by on March 20, 2005 at 23:21:27:

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

SYDNEY - Australian police called off a search on Monday for the remains of a man and for the shark that bit him in half in a horrifying attack witnessed by tourists on a luxury boat off Australia's remote west coast.

Boat captain Geoffrey Brazier, 26, died when a shark described as up to six metres (20 feet) long attacked him while he was snorkelling on Saturday near the Abrolhos Islands, 400 km (250 miles) north of the Western Australia state capital Perth.

Brazier was attacked by either a great white shark or a tiger shark, both of which are common in the area, authorities said.

Twelve other passengers and crew from the catamaran Matrix watched the attack in horror, with some saying the shark went straight for Brazier. Several other divers who were in the water with him were unhurt.

"It came in, bit him in half, went away for five or 10 minutes then came back for the other half," said Steve Thorne, a manager for the company that operated the boat charter.

In December, an 18-year-old surfer was killed off a beach in South Australia by what witnesses described as a great white shark measuring up to five metres (16 feet).

"The reason why it has been called off is that the currents up there are such that anything would have been taken out to sea," police spokesman Graham Clifford told reporters.

"Also, the Abrolhos is a lot of islands and (has) a big volume of fish and many, many sharks ... we don't think there's anything left," he said.

Australia has a reputation for shark attacks, with Brazier's death the fourth fatal shark attack in the past nine months. International Shark File figures show most attacks occur in North American waters.

The first documented shark attack in Australia was in 1791 and there have been more than 625 attacks in the past 200 years, about 190 of them fatal.

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