Diver's remains found

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Posted by on September 08, 2004 at 12:26:47:

In Reply to: More diver remains found posted by on September 08, 2004 at 10:13:56:

Mendocino County discovery 3 weeks after shark killed sports fishing advocate RandallFry

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


A beachcomber strolling on a Mendocino County beach found a human head three weeks after a fatal shark attack that killed sports fishing advocate Randall Fry.

Mendocino County authorities on Tuesday said the head belonged to Fry.

The gruesome discovery was made last Friday on Ten Mile Beach north of Fort Bragg but not reported by the county Sheriff's Office until after the long Labor Day weekend so positive identification could be made, said Capt. Kevin Broin.

Broin said Fry's family has been informed of the discovery.

"It's very sad, but the discovery of the remains should help the family bring closure to this terrible tragedy," said Broin.

Fry, a nationally known sports fishing advocate who lived in Auburn, was killed when he was attacked by a great white shark while abalone diving with a longtime friend in shallow water north of Ten Mile Beach.

Fry, 50, was the 11th person to have been killed in shark attacks on the West Coast since 1952.

Survivor Cliff Zimmerman, a Fort Bragg surveyor and owner of the Beach House Inn, told investigators that he and Fry had dived at the site for nearly 30 years.

Both men knew it was shark territory, but like many divers, they believed the chances of an encounter were minimal.

At the time of Fry's death, experts speculated that the shark may have mistaken him for a seal or sea lion.

Fry, who was wearing a wetsuit, was diving head first in about 15 feet of water when the shark swiftly moved in and attacked.

The shark apparently ripped Fry's head and neck from his body, a move sharks usually reserve for marine mammals.

Studies show that more than 40 percent of the initial strikes by sharks on seals or sea lions are to their heads, according to UC Davis shark expert A. Peter Klimley.

Robert Lea, a shark expert for the state Department of Fish and Game, said sharks have no interest in feeding on humans.

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.

The victim was in the habit of swimming alongside seals.

Broin said despite the gory results of the shark attack on Fry, he doesn't believe Fry suffered.

"It happened to quickly. It was over before he knew what was happening," said Broin.

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