Diver survives shark attack

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Posted by on January 17, 2006 at 10:38:23:

In Reply to: shark attack: Diver tells of cheating death in Australia posted by on January 17, 2006 at 10:27:08:

A SCUBA diver has been attacked by a shark off a Perth beach, as the occupants of a nearby boat tried to warn him about the shark.

Brian Williams, 52, of north suburban Sorrento, was bitten on his left elbow after the shark grabbed him from behind as he was diving about three kilometres off City Beach yesterday morning. He fought it off by hitting it with a spear gun.

His injuries were not life-threatening, police and the West Australian Department of Fisheries said. The shark was believed to be a white pointer of up to 3 metres.

The attack came as the occupants of a boat, near Mr Williams' unoccupied dive vessel, were being circled by a shark.

Mr Williams surfaced soon after, and had already been attacked. It was believed he had separated from other divers in his group when the attack happened, the Fisheries spokesman said.

Surf lifesavers rescued Mr Williams, who was taken to hospital. "He was walking and talking," a lifesaver said.

There has been no sighting of the shark. It is not known if the beach was closed.

There have been three shark fatalities in WA since 2000.

In 2000, Perth businessman Ken Crew, 49, died after his leg was ripped off by what was believed to be a white pointer off Cottesloe Beach. In July 2004, Brad Smith, 30, died after being attacked while surfing at Gracetown, about 270 kilometres south-west of Perth.

In March last year, 26-year-old Geoffrey Brazier was killed while snorkelling off the Abrolhos Islands, west of Geraldton.

Meanwhile, Queensland authorities are considering building a shark-proof swimming enclosure at the beach where a 21-year-old woman was taken by killer sharks.

The State Government yesterday released a report on the attack, promising to boost safety at North Stradbroke Island. Sarah Whiley, of Brisbane, died on January 7 after being mauled by up to three bull sharks at Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island.

The report recommended more drumlines at Amity Point. Authorities should also service the equipment regularly, put up warning signs and carry out an education campaign, it said.

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