Memorial planned for shark attack victim

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Posted by on December 12, 2004 at 08:10:13:

In Reply to: Man dies in horror shark attack (Queensland Australia) posted by on December 11, 2004 at 11:07:49:

An on-water memorial is being planned for a 38-year-old man from Clifton Beach in Cairns who died in a shark attack in far north Queensland yesterday.

The fisherman died from blood loss after being bitten at Opal Reef on the Great Barrier Reef, about 60 nautical miles north-east of Port Douglas.

He was spearfishing with friends on a privately-owned game fishing boat.

Authorities say it is too early to tell what species of shark was responsible for the attack.

Marine biologist and shark researcher Richard Fitzpatrick says he will know more about the type of shark involved in the attack after studying the bite marks on the victim.

"He has been pushed out of the water, the shark has come in at a high speed and has pushed him up," he said.

"There are a few different species capable of doing that up in the reef.

"The main one would be some of the large whalers, like the bull shark or the black whalers that are found out on the reef. Tigers generally come in a lot slower and push horizontally and are a little bit more timid in their approach."

Grant Small from Surf Life Saving Queensland says many different types of shark congregate in the area.

"We have typical reef sharks, black and white tips, hammerheads and tiger sharks," he said.

Investigations are continuing into the attack.

Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has passed on his condolences to the man's family.

Mr Beattie says while he is worried about the impact such tragedies have on tourism, he is more concerned about the man's family.

"I pass on the condolences of the Government and all Queenslanders," he said.

"No one wants to see those sort of tragedies happen, particularly to a young dad who's only 38 years of age."
In other developments:

* Authorities investigating a fatal shark attack off Cairns in far-north Queensland say it is too early to say what species of shark was involved.

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