VIA – THE AUSTRALIAN
Surfer killed by shark off Wedge Island near Perth
- July 14, 2012 4:56PM
Martin Kane with his surf ski after it was bitten in half by a shark last month at Mullaloo beach in WA. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper Source: PerthNow
A MALE surfer has been killed by a shark near Wedge Island in Western Australia, the fifth fatal attack in the area since September.
The man was surfing near Wedge Island, north of Perth, on this morning with a friend, who told officers that his mate was savaged by the shark and suffered extensive injuries, police said.
“It’s reported to be a fatal attack,” a police spokesman sai. “The report to police was made by the surfing mate of the victim who was present at the time of the attack.”
This afternoon West Australian police were searching for the remains of a surfer.
The man’s identity would not be released until his family was notified, police said. “At this stage, no remains have been located,” police said.
The Water Police’s largest boat Falcon was en-route to the site of the attack to lead the search for the man’s remains.
A volunteer marine rescue service based at Lancelin, which has police on board, was assisting as quad bikes scoured the beach.
A Water Police sergeant and an officer from Jurien were jointly acting as incident controllers on the beach.
Dandaragan Shire President Shane Love said it was a tragic day for the small community, The West Australian reported.
It would be the fifth fatal shark incident off Western Australia since September – an unprecedented number that sparked calls earlier this year for a cull.
On March 31, 33-year-old diver Peter Kurmann was taken by a shark in waters near Busselton in the state’s south west.
A 32-year-old American, George Wainwright, died after being bitten by a great white shark on October 22 last year while diving off the tourist destination of Rottnest Island offshore Perth.
Only 12 days earlier, 64-year-old Bryn Martin disappeared while taking his daily swim at Perth’s popular Cottesloe Beach. His Speedos were later found, with experts saying that damage was consistent with a shark attack.
On September 4 last year, Kyle James Burden was attacked while bodyboarding at Bunker Bay, about 300km south of Perth.
WA Fisheries senior shark research scientist Rory McAuley recently said that the state was the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks.
Mr McAuley said there had been an unprecedented number of fatal shark attacks off WA in the past two years.
Last month, 62-year-old surf life saver Martin Kane was rescued by one of his fellow paddlers when a shark attacked his surf ski at Mullaloo beach in Perth’s northern suburbs.
That attack came just hours after another great white, thought to be five metres long, lunged from the water at a crab fisherman at a dive park south of Perth.
Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.
Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.
Additional reporting: AFP
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