An Australian scallop diver was killed by a shark off the east coast of Tasmania yesterday.
The man — in his late 40s and from the southern suburb of Kingston — had been diving for scallops, with his daughter, between Lachlan Island and Maria Island near the coastal town of Triabunna.
His daughter returned to their small aluminium dinghy around 8am after collecting scallops.
“My understanding is the daughter returned to the boat and the father returned to get some more scallops,” Police inspector David Wiss told the ABC.
“He did not return to the surface,” Wiss said.
“His daughter became worried and went down and checked on her father.”
It was then that she saw him being attacked by “a very large shark”.
“She immediately returned to the surface where she raised the alarm by setting off a flare and also by making an emergency phone call,” Wiss said.
Boaters atended the area and tried to pull the victim from of the water using an air hose but the man had already been fatally injured.
Although the diving site was not known for sharks, there had been sightings of a 15 foot (4.5 metres) great white just 24 hours earlier.
“There’s been a so-called white pointer seen a couple of times over the last week out and about but [there is] not particularly a lot of sharks in and around that particular area,” Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor Michael Kent said.
According to police, this is the first shark fatality in Tasmania in 17 years.
The incident follows joins a string of recent shark attacks in Sydney.
Earlier this month, Japanese national Tadashi Nakahara died following a shark attack in Ballina on the NSW north coast. The 41-year-old was pulled from the water by four surfers with both legs severed.
That attack came just 24 hours after a surfer was bitten by a 2-metre shark at Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head, between Byron Bay and Ballina.
Chef Jabez Reitman, 35, suffered puncture wounds both in his buttocks and to his back after the attack.
A body boarder was also bitten on the legs by a shark at Ballina’s main swimming spot, Lighthouse Beach, earlier this month.
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