Diver believed dead after shark attack

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Posted by on August 24, 2005 at 15:46:29:

In Reply to: Shark takes marine biologist posted by on August 24, 2005 at 15:41:53:

A marine biologist attacked by a shark off Adelaide's Glenelg beach yesterday is presumed dead.

The man, aged in his 20s, was attacked while diving with a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide.

A search for the researcher is resuming this morning but South Australian police acting Superintendent Jim Jeffrey says the chances of finding the young man alive are slim.

"We're in the process now of searching for the missing diver and for any other clothing or any other equipment that may be still out in the water," he said.

"The indications to us though are that it'd be very doubtful that we will find the person alive."

A coordinated search involving police boats, helicopters and surf lifesaving vessels found no sign of the missing man before nightfall.

Raised the alarm

The man was diving on an artificial reef five kilometres out to sea, collecting cuttlefish eggs for research.

His three colleagues were pulling him back to the boat when the shark attacked, leaving behind only his tank and a buoyancy vest.

The man's colleagues returned to shore and raised the alarm that their friend was missing.

They were counselled at the Sea Rescue Squadron until late last night.

The man's family has been notified and is being offered counselling.

The attack happened about three kilometres from the spot where a shark took 18-year-old Nick Peterson eight months ago. Mr Peterson was riding a surfboard being towed behind a dinghy when that attack occurred.

Both attacks were within sight of popular Adelaide suburban beaches.


The head of the University of Adelaide's School of Environmental Sciences, Bob Hill, says the researcher's colleagues did all they could have in the circumstances.

"They're all fully accredited divers and I would like to say that we have absolute confidence in the safety standards and the way they conducted themselves out there," Professor Hill said.

"I am actually quite proud of the three of them from what I've heard so far. They made every attempt they could."

An Adelaide expert says it is likely a Great White was responsible for yesterday's attack.

Researcher Andrew Fox, whose father survived a shark attack, says while an attack during the winter months is unusual, the public should always be cautious.

"Great white sharks live thoughout the state but they're going to attack a lot more frequently where most people are diving or surfing and places where the population is," he said.

"I can't imagine there's any correlation to the location, other than this is where the most people are diving, or in the water."

Local fisherman Keith Klemasz says he does not understand why people still dive in the area.

"There's plenty of sharks out there," he said. "There's always sharks. We always lose a lot of our gear when we go out fishing at night.

"The last thing I would be doing would be jumping in the water."

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