Teen torn in half in double shark attack

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Posted by on December 16, 2004 at 15:09:17:

In Reply to: Re: GREAT WHITES KILL SURFER posted by on December 16, 2004 at 14:52:47:

16 December 2004 10:32
Two great white sharks attacked and killed a teenage boy on a surfboard off a packed Australian beach as his horrified friends looked on Thursday, in the country's second fatal shark attack in five days.

Police said the 18-year-old was being towed on a surfboard behind a speedboat off a beach in the southern city of Adelaide when the giant man-eaters struck.

The victim's three friends aboard the speedboat told police they saw a white pointer shark, also known as a great white, grab the youth's arm and drag him into the water.

He yelled at them to get his board to him as the circling shark closed in and renewed its attack. Witnesses on the beach said the boy's body was torn in half before a second white pointer joined in a feeding frenzy, which was over in a matter of seconds.

"Apparently it tore him in half and the other shark came in and took the rest," Sea Rescue Squadron spokesperson Fraser Bell told reporters at the scene.

The attack occurred in front of hundreds of beachgoers seeking relief from sweltering pre-Christmas weather at West Beach, just 10km from Adelaide city centre.

Bell said the first shark was described as 5m long and the second 4,5m. Great white sharks can grow up to 8m long and weigh up to 1 500kg.

One witnesses said the shark that initiated the attack was "as wide as the boat they were in".

Police closed the beach after the attack and launched an intensive search for the teenager, although they had no hope of his survival.

The youth's three friends, all believed to be aged 16, were being treated for shock. Police said they were unable to give a detailed description of the attack because they were so traumatised.

"They were just boys having a good time; the weather was perfect and they were just out doing what young lads do," Bell said.

He said the teenagers tried in vain to rescue their friend.

"They tried everything they could think of, but unfortunately the sharks had taken him by that stage," he said, describing the boys as "a wreck".

Bell said there have been recent reports of shark sightings off Adelaide's metropolitan coast and a shark warning was issued two weeks ago.

The waters off South Australia are a well-known habitat for great white sharks, although the last fatal attack in Adelaide was 14 years ago.

The latest death comes just five days after Mark Thompson (38) was killed by a shark while spearfishing on a section of the Great Barrier Reef, about 75km north of the Queensland state tourist town of Cairns.

The Adelaide attack was the eighth fatal shark attack in Australian waters since 2000.

The attack by two sharks is unusual behaviour for great whites, which are generally regarded as solitary hunters.

But there was another joint attack off Western Australia last July, when 29-year-old surfer Bradley Smith was killed by a pair of man-eaters. -- Sapa-AFP

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