Search continues for Adelaide shark attack victim

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Posted by on December 16, 2004 at 20:39:03:

In Reply to: GREAT WHITES KILL SURFER posted by Mike on December 16, 2004 at 13:02:57:


This is a transcript from AM. The program is broadcast around Australia at 08:00 on ABC Local Radio.

Real Audio Windows Media

TONY EASTLEY: This morning West Beach in Adelaide is a grim and sad place, after a young man was taken by two big sharks there yesterday afternoon.

Water police and sea rescue authorities have resumed a search this morning but hold out little hope of finding the man.

Yesterday afternoon there were plenty of people on West Beach cooling off on what was a hot day. About 200 metres offshore a group of teenagers were towing a surfboard behind a dinghy.

It's the first fatal shark attack off Adelaide's metropolitan coast since a scallop diver was taken 19 years ago.

Last night, our reporter Nance Haxton joined the search for the man off West Beach.

(sound of police radio, and boat engine)

NANCE HAXTON: A flotilla of boats from the police, South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron, Coast Guard and surf life saving clubs joined forces in a grid pattern to try and find any sign of the missing man.

The 18-year-old was wave riding with friends, riding his surfboard while it was towed behind a boat, when a shark emerged from the water. Moments later, he was gone.

South Australian Police Chief Inspector, David Lusty, says the man's three mates managed to get back in the boat and get to shore.

DAVID LUSTY: It was obviously quite horrific, but also quite quick and the male that is missing disappeared from sight very quickly. The only remains was a lot of blood in the water.

NANCE HAXTON: Fishing charter operator John Winslett joined in the search, saying it was the least he could do to try and find the man.

JOHN WINSLETT: Oh yeah, I was doing a (inaudible) with a group of people on board their boat, and we got back to the ramp and the police were there and asked if we could take them out, joined the search party.

NANCE HAXTON: So it was just a matter of helping out where you could?

JOHN WINSLETT: Yeah, that's right. It's very sad and very scary. It's a freak occurrence really I believe.

(sound of police radio)

NANCE HAXTON: By late afternoon worst fears were confirmed when suspected body parts were found not far from where the man was taken.

POLICE RADIO 1: … been found about 50 metres off the Henley Beach jetty by a surf life rep…

POLICE RADIO 2: Yeah roger, we're working on that at the moment, I'll get back to you shortly.

NANCE HAXTON: Visibly traumatised by the incident, Chief Inspector David Lusty says they are now concentrating on trying to find out exactly what happened.

DAVID LUSTY: Obviously they are quite psychologically upset, distressed, because of what's happened. But no physical injuries that I'm aware of.

NANCE HAXTON: The other three did manage to get back into the boat?

DAVID LUSTY: Yes, and came back into shore and raised the alarm.

NANCE HAXTON: With regards to the shark, what are the plans there to track the shark and kill it if need be?

DAVID LUSTY: Well there's no plan at this stage and there's been no sighting of the shark since this incident. Until in a point of time when a shark's located there hasn't been any decisions made along those…with respect to that matter.

TONY EASTLEY: South Australian Police Chief Inspector David Lusty ending Nance Haxton's report.

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