Coast Guard recovers headless body of diver killed by shark

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Posted by on August 17, 2004 at 14:37:16:

In Reply to: Auburn Man Missing: Possible Shark Attack posted by on August 16, 2004 at 12:22:00:

UKIAH, Calif. (AP) - The Coast Guard Monday recovered the headless body of a diver who was killed Sunday by a shark off the Mendocino County coast.

A friend who witnessed Sunday's attack on Randy Fry estimated the shark to be between 16 to 18 feet long.

"It was over in five seconds," said Red Bartley of Modesto, a friend of the victim's, who witnessed the fatal encounter from a boat.

Fry, 50, was attacked by the shark about 4 p.m. Sunday in shallow water north of Ten Mile River Beach near Westport. Cliff Zimmerman of Fort Bragg was in the water with Fry but escaped injury. The two were diving for abalone.

Bartley, president of the California Striped Bass Association, said he helped Zimmerman out of the water and into the boat before making a mayday call for help.

"When I saw the pool of blood spread across the surface of the water, I knew Randy was gone," Bartley said.

Until Fry's death, the state's most recent shark fatality occurred in August 2003 when a 50-year-old college instructor was attacked while swimming off a San Luis Obispo County beach. That victim was in the habit of swimming alongside seals.

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