Australian dies in shark attack

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Posted by on December 12, 2004 at 08:12:55:

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

ydney - An Australian man was killed in a shark attack at the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland state, rescue services said on Sunday.

The Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service said the 38-year-old was spearfishing with friends when the shark attacked on Saturday afternoon at Opal Reef, about 75km north of the tourist town Cairns.

Rescue service spokesperson Steve Akers said the man's two friends were spearfishing when they saw him being attacked.

"They heard him scream, they went over to him and obviously there was blood in the water and that is all they saw and then dragged him onto the vessel and then proceeded to stem the bleeding but obviously it didn't work," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Authorities said the man's wife and 10-year-old daughter have requested his name not be released.

It was the seventh fatal shark attack in Australian waters since 2000.

Authorities are unsure which breed of shark was responsible for the attack but a tiger shark, bronze whaler or bull shark have been suggested as likely suspects.

Seaworld Marine Sciences director Trevor Long said the warm conditions, blood in the water and vibrations of dying fish would have created ideal conditions for a shark feeding frenzy.

"With spear fishing there's blood in the water, there's also a lot of vibrations in the water from when the fish is first injured and killed," he said. "Those sort of vibrations attract sharks in like a magnet."

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie would not be drawn on the effect the attack would have on the state's tourism market.

"I'm more concerned about the individual and his family to be perfectly honest," he told journalists.

"I pass on the condolences of the government and all Queenslanders - no one wants to see those sorts of tragedies happen, particularly to a young dad who's only 38."

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