Shark takes marine scientist

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Posted by on August 24, 2005 at 15:51:42:

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

A UNIVERSITY diving trip turned to tragedy when a young marine scientist was taken by a shark off Adelaide's most popular beach.

The student, in his 20s, was attacked at a popular diving and fishing reef 2km off Glenelg beach.

The shark, most likely a great white, struck while he was surfacing about 4pm.

A woman and three men were on the University of Adelaide diving trip. Two were in the water and two in the 6m aluminium boat.

The two on board saw the shark near the boat and raised the alarm with the two divers in the water.

They hauled one diver out but the shark used its snout to push the other man under the water before his friends could grab him, a colleague said.

Police found some of the victim's equipment, including the oxygen tank and a buoyancy vest.

The attack happened just a few kilometres from West Beach, where 18-year-old Nick Peterson was killed by a white pointer in December.

But experts said it was unlikely to be the same shark.

There was no such thing as a "man-eater" that repeatedly killed humans, said Chris Daniels, Associate Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the university.

"It's very, very, very unlikely to be the same shark.

"The thing about great whites is that they are not territorial and they cover thousands of kilometres every year and they don't remember what they've eaten before."

The survivors and the family of the missing diver were being counselled last night.

Shark expert Andrew Fox said the killer was likely to be a great white.

"It's very likely that, other than a bronze whaler shark, the great white shark is really the only large predatory shark that's capable of actually taking a diver," he said.

Beaches will not be closed, police said.

Keith Lemasz, 57, was fishing about 100m from the students when the attack occurred.

"I didn't see anything at all until all the choppers started flying over us," he said.

Anxious friends and colleagues from the South Australian Research and Development Institute met the survivors at the West Beach boat ramp.

Acting Superintendent Jim Jeffery said there was little hope for the missing diver.

"It is very doubtful we will find the person alive," he said.

Adelaide University's Professor Bob Hill said the group was collecting cuttle fish eggs and were all accredited divers.

"The school would need to have a very serious look at whether similar activity will continue," he said.

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