Welcome to Jawshark.com's list of news articles pertaining to attacks made by Great White Sharks off the coast of Australia. These articles are referenced from many sources including other Internet websites, newspaper article archives, first hand accounts emailed to me and articles written by me after viewing recent accounts on various television news channels. Their accuracy is as good as their sources which means they are as accurate as they can get. With that being said I think they are fairly if not entirely accurate. The basics of the story are there. A number of these articles were written by journalists with a deadline and a pen itching for sensationalism. That is ok with me as long as the basic story is true.
The reason I even bring this up is because of my observations of the news coverage of the recent fatality off the United States California coast of Dr. David Martin. I watched first hand news footage of one of his Triathalon Swim Club mates say how he saw him go under, a red patch of blood appear in the water, and Dr. Martin resurface to call out to them. This was a first hand witness account...
Not a day later I am reading an article on Yahoo News about the event and the author (who shall remain nameless) decided to throw in how Dr. Martin was flipped up into the air as he was being mauled by the shark. Next I will read how the shark breached the surface with Dr. Martin's body halfway in his mouth. See what I mean? So take these articles with a grain of salt. It's a good bet most are generally true through and a good reference of the "facts"........enjoy.
Great White Shark encounters from unsafe vantage points in Australia......
Australia Great White Shark Attack Articles
Aussie Ben Morcom attacked by a Great White Dec 18th 2007
Great white shark attack victim fights back - and wins
Tuesday October 16, 2007
By Andy Parks
Byron Bay shark attack survivor Linda Whitehurst with husband Glen.
LISMORE - "I'm happy to be alive and to have all my limbs." They
were the first words that Linda Whitehurst said after being released
from the Emergency Department at Byron Bay Hospital yesterday after she
was attacked by a three-metre great white shark off Main Beach.
and her husband Glen were paddling surf skis about 150 metres from
shore and heading back to the beach at the time of the attack.
were riding the waves back in and I saw this big thing underneath me.
At first I thought maybe it was a dolphin or a turtle so I kept
paddling. Then I turned around and saw this big dark object and I knew
it was a shark
thought, 'oh my God' and screamed and tried to scare the shark."Glen was paddling in his own 6m surf ski when he heard his wife scream and saw the shark attack her.
lifted itself out of the water and onto the back of the boat. It had
the back of her boat in its mouth and gave it a good shake," he said. Linda was knocked into the water.
Glen said that after she was knocked out of the boat she went underwater and at that stage he was 'very concerned'."I thought this is it, he's going to grab my leg or ankle," Linda said.
the couple, who spend a lot of time in the water and described
themselves as 'competitive water sports people', had discussed what to
do if they ever found themselves in a situation where they were
attacked by a shark. Linda says she didn't panic and that adrenalin
"I just tried making as much motion and noise as I
could to show the shark that I'm bigger and stronger than it, " Linda
said. "I got my blade (paddle) and was punching the shark in the face
as hard as I could."I saw a program on SBS TV just last week about sharks and surf skis. I'm fascinated by shark attacks," she said.
"I saw that look in its eye that I've seen so many times before on TV. "We've talked about it a lot, " Glen said. "The policy is if it goes for you, then you go for it. " Linda
managed to beat the shark away and swim back to her surf ski which had
drifted away. Glen told her to swim over to his surf ski, but hers was
closer. She managed to get back in and paddle to shore.
"You just go. The adrenalin is pumping so fast that you can do anything," she said.
a registered nurse, used to work at Byron Bay Hospital. She said she
wasn't panicked once she was out of the water. Glen drove her to the
hospital where she was treated for a cut she got hitting the shark and
got four stitches in her forearm.
The couple said that they
were looking forward to having a relaxing, romantic day together after
their kids had gone back to school after two weeks of school holidays. They
seemed surprisingly level-headed after their ordeal and were happy to
talk to the media, saying they hoped their experience could help others
who might find themselves in a similar situation.
"Every year at this time there are great whites around here," Glen said. "We know we live with them. It's their backyard."
Leahy, the co-ordinator of the Northern NSW Lifeguard Service said: "No
beach is ever 100 per cent safe, but there is nothing to suggest that
the shark is still in the area." "We will work with the local police to continue to monitor the beaches over the next few days."
A group of English backpackers on the beach said they would go back in. "Maybe I won't go too deep though," said Mark Fenson. "I might send my friends in first," said Dean Cowan.
Article credit : The New Zealand Herald
Diver in Australia survives shark attack Jan. 23, 2007
The Sydney Morning Herald ~
It seems Eric Nerhus, an abalone diver, did not impress the
discerning palate of the three-metre white pointer shark that
attacked him yesterday. The shark had Mr Nerhus's head in its jaws,
but marine experts say it chewed him then spat him out when it
realised he was not a seal. Mr Nerhus, 41, a black belt in karate who has been diving
professionally for five years, was scouring reefs at Cape Howe,
near Eden, with his son, Mark, 16, when the shark pounced about
9.30am Jan 22.
In an instant the shark snapped its jaw around Mr Nerhus's head
with such force it crushed his face mask and broke his nose. He
fought to break free but Mr Nerhus's torso was then pulled into the
shark's mouth and it bit into the diver's sides. "He was actually bitten by the head down," said a friend and
fellow diver, Dennis Luobikis. "The shark swallowed his head." But the white pointer, probably weighing about 500 kilograms,
would not have liked the taste, said an aquarist at Sydney
Aquarium, Grant Willis. "They go for rich, fatty meat, like seals, and with his black
diving outfit moving around in the reef [Mr Nerhus] would have
looked like a seal. Humans are not a part of their diet. When it
bit into this scrawny human being it would probably have thought
'yuck' and let him go." A small window of opportunity would then have opened for the
Eden-born local, the son of a fisherman, to save himself. Mr Nerhus, who was recovering in Wollongong Hospital last night,
told friends and rescuers he had used his abalone chisel to hit the
shark about the head and poke its eye to escape.He was pulled into a boat by his son, bleeding from his head,
arms and both sides of his stomach. "I went over and there was a
big pool of red blood," Mark Nerhus said. "He'd come up to the surface and he was going, 'Help, help'. I
pulled him out of the water and he was yelling at me, 'Just get me
to shore'." Other friends said the father's main concern at that stage was
that if his face was disfigured Mark would be psychologically
traumatised. Two abalone divers nearby, Tony Banks and Reece Warren, used
their boat to speed Mr Nerhus on the hour-long trip back to Eden,
where the Snowy Hydro SouthCare rescue helicopter was waiting. Such was the level of interest in Mr Nerhus's tale that an
exclusive deal with a television network had been brokered within
hours of the attack. Last night Mr Nerhus was reported to be in a stable condition,
although he will require further surgery before being discharged
later this week.
PERTH, Australia (15 Jan 2006) -- A Perth diver has told how
a white pointer shark "chomped" on his arm before the monster took him
for a terrifyingly brief "ride". Bernie Williams, 46, was bitten
on the left elbow after the predator grabbed him from behind as he was
scuba diving about 3km offshore from City Beach. The attack happened at about 11am (WST) on Sunday. Mr Williams fought off the three- to 3.5-metre white pointer by striking it with his spear gun. The electrician, an experienced diver, has told how he was diving with two friends when the shark appeared from nowhere.
just came out on my left hand side from below," Mr Williams, of the
northern Perth beachside suburb of Sorrento, told Network Ten. "I never even saw it coming. "(It) chomped on my arm (and) took me for a ride for about two metres."
The father of three said that as soon as he spotted the shark he stabbed it in the nose with his spear gun. "It was just like hitting a lump of steel," Mr Williams said from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he is recovering. He said his first instinct had been to hide among a reef and search for his friends and his boat. Meanwhile, two fishermen, who had also seen the white pointer before it attacked, had raised the alarm. "They
advised Water Police that there was a dive vessel nearby with a flag up
and there was nobody on board," a Fisheries spokesman said. "The
Water Police requested that they go over the general vicinity and rev
the engine of the boat to attract the attention of the people under
A short time later Mr Williams surfaced - he had already been attacked. It was believed he had separated from the other divers at the time of the attack, said the Fisheries spokesman. "One
of the other divers apparently had some sort of a shark shield device -
a commercial shark repellant - and that may have helped them in the
process of them getting back on board safely," the spokesman said.
CANBERRA, Australia, March 20, 2005 -
Geoffrey Brazier, 26, was bitten in half by a 20-foot shark off the west coast of Australia. (AP)
A 20-foot shark tore a man in half as he was snorkeling off Australia's west coast, police said Sunday.
Geoffrey Brazier, a pleasure boat deck hand who was snorkeling with
tourists, died instantly in the attack Saturday afternoon off the
Abrolhos Islands about 250 miles north of the Western Australia state
capital, Perth, said Police Inspector George Putland.
"The 26-year-old man was bitten in half by the 20-foot animal and
death seemed to be instantaneous," said Putland, adding that the man's
body so far has not been recovered.
The species of shark is not yet known and it was not clear how many
people were in the water with the victim at the time of the attack. No
one else was injured.
Area residents have speculated that a great white shark or tiger
shark is responsible. There were no immediate plans to hunt the shark.
The fatality is the first in Australian waters since December, when
an 18-year-old surfer was bitten in half by a 16-foot great white shark
off a beach in the southern city of Adelaide. A week earlier, a shark
killed a 38-year-old diver spear fishing on the Great Barrier Reef off
The latest attack is the first to occur off the west coast since
two sharks killed a 29-year-old surfer south of Perth in July. Experts
said then that sharks were not previously known to hunt in pairs.
back to fatalities by country AUS
*Try as I might, I have not been able to find the name or information of this on this occurrence. I would love to hear from you if you know about this.
December 17, 2004 Adelaide Beach, Australia -
SYDNEY December 17, 2004 - Nick Peterson, a young Australian surfer was killed in a horrifying attack by two great white sharks at a popular Adelaide beach on Thursday, the second fatal attack in five days, rescue officials and witnesses said.
Witnesses reported seeing the two sharks -- one up to five metres (16 feet) long -- attack the teenager while he was being towed behind a boat on his surfboard. "It got his left arm and took him around the boat and then another shark has come in and they just took him to pieces," an unidentified woman told Nine Network television. Police and emergency officials said they had been unable to find any sign of the surfer or the sharks since the mid-afternoon attack off West Beach in the South Australian state capital of Adelaide. They said the attack happened after the surfer, described as an 18-year-old, fell from his surfboard which was being towed by three friends in a small boat about 300 metres (980 feet) from shore. "He fell off the surfboard and the shark appeared and took him," rescue worker Fraser Bell told reporters. "Apparently it tore him in half and the other shark came in and took the rest," he said.
The father of a surfer killed by a great white shark off an
Adelaide beach does not want it destroyed, saying the ocean is the
animal's domain. As authorities ordered the 5m long shark to be found and
destroyed, Philip Peterson, the father of 18-year-old victim Nick
Peterson, said his son admired and respected sharks. Nick Peterson was killed instantly when he was attacked by the
shark as he was towed behind a boat on a surfboard just 300 metres
off Adelaide's popular metropolitan West Beach yesterday. "It came up from nowhere - he didn't see it for a second before
it happened,'' Adam Floreani, one of three 16-year-old friends in
the boat who watched the horrific attack, told Channel Seven. The friends said Mr Peterson had fought for his life, hitting
the shark as it took him away. "He went down fighting - he didn't give up,'' said Mr
Floreani. Police initially believed they had found some of Mr Peterson's
remains today but tests later showed they were not human
tissue. Philip Peterson today visited West Beach with his wife Leonie to
see where their son died. He said the decision to destroy the shark was "out of my
hands''. "We acknowledge that the sea is, in fact, the shark's
"We don't, and I certainly personally don't, advocate the
indiscriminate killing of any shark. They are to be admired,
appreciated and respected, and Nick knew that.'' Great whites are a protected species, but a meeting today of
government, police, fisheries and coast guard officials ordered the
killer shark be found and destroyed. "Any shark posing a threat or risk to human life . . . should be
destroyed, that is unequivocal,'' acting SA Premier Kevin Foley
said. He defended inaction over a sighting last week of a shark,
believed to be the one involved in yesterday's killing, at an
adjoining beach to West Beach. "Should action have been taken earlier? Every summer we are
confronted with that dilemma,'' Mr Foley said. "We don't know at all whether the shark that took this poor
victim was the shark that was sighted last week. "What we don't want is a standard culling approach to great
white sharks at the beginning of every summer.'' Several sightings of the killer shark were made near West Beach
today as about 50 emergency service boats, supported by
helicopters, searched for the animal and any remains of Nick
Peterson. Mr Peterson said the death of his son, an experienced
ocean-goer, should prompt more funding to make beaches safer from
shark attack. "I am concerned, as are the family, that there will be a number
of (ocean) activities in a very warm period in the ensuing days,''
back to fatalities by country AUS
Shark attack takes life of 31 year old surfer at Lefthanders, in WA.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 July 2004: - While surfing Noisys
near lefthanders in Gracetown on Saturday 31 year old Brad Smith from
Rockingham lost his life doing what he loved best, surfing. He passed
away before reaching the shore. Police have closed beaches in the
The surf beach global local was well respected not only in Rockingham,
but where ever he surfed with his go hard attitude and his surfing
prowess. Sure you have heard the term legend thrown around before, but
in this case it really applies.
His friends assembled in the surf beach car park at Secret Harbour last
night, the stories and facts came out about a man who loved, life,
surfing and his mates.
He was a man who not only used to dive alone spearing fish in water
that was deeper than Loch Ness, but a man who traveled the world and
surfed places that were so suss that most of us would just sit on the
beach and watch.
A man that would stick up for his mates and was as Australian as Ayers
Rock. A hard tough man that called a spade a spade and was scared of
nothing and no one and in my opinion could hold his own both in and out
of the water. This man also had a heart of gold and under his tough
exterior, lay a gentle giant.
How tough was this legend? Friends were describing how he fought the
first shark and refused to give in, punching it in the head
continuously and giving it the fight of it´s life which unfortunately
cost him his.
But remember this, it took two of the Bastards to take him down and he
went down with a fight. The second shark leaped out of the water in
flight and was also believed to be a White Pointer, one shark was
believed to be 3 metres in length while the other was around 5 metres.
He will never be forgotten and just like a world war 1 digger will always be remembered and respected.
Sincere condolences to the Smith family from all of Brads friends.
Rest in peace and hope you catch up with Simmo and the rest of the crew and have a great time wherever you are.
From all the lads in Rocko and those who have had the pleasure to have met you and surf with you.
back to fatalities by country AUS
PORT LINCOLN, Australia (20 Mar 2003) -- The coronial inquest into the death of commercial diver Paul Buckland has heard evidence the diver may not have correctly used his shark repellant device. Mr Buckland, 23, was attacked and killed by a great white shark while diving for scallops in the waters off Smoky Bay on April 30 last year. He was wearing a Shark Pod which his crew member advised was switched on when he retrieved Mr Buckland from the water. State Coroner Wayne Chivell heard evidence in the Port Lincoln court yesterday of the circumstances surrounding Mr Buckland's death as well as evidence from the manufacturer of the Shark Pod, Sea Change Technology and from the police water operations unit. The court heard that prior to his death, Mr Buckland was not wearing the shark pod to the manufacturer's specifications and may only have turned the device on when he saw the shark approaching.
An employee of Mr Buckland, Shannon Jenzen, 24, witnessed the attack and pulled his friend from the water before he died on the boat from the injuries sustained in the attack. It was reported at the time that Mr Buckland lost his left leg and a significant part of his torso in the attack. Mr Jenzen said the pair worked together three or four days a week during the scallop season from mid-March to Christmas and he had worked for Mr Buckland for over a year. He told the coroner he and Mr Buckland had left the Smoky Bay boat ramp at about 7.30am that day in a 6.5 metre mono-hulled aluminium boat and had dived for scallops in five different locations before moving to their final location. He said he couldn't be sure of where they were when the attack occurred, because he didn't have the knowledge of the headlands, but he said a police officer had said that by descriptions, it sounded like the attack occurred near Saddle Point. He had dived at 11.30am and returned to the surface about an hour later to swap diving duties with Mr Buckland. "I got the signal to come back up and we swapped straight over," he said. He said he took the pod off and gave it to Mr Buckland, but he didn't see him turn the device on, because that was normally done when the diver was in the water.
About 10 minutes later, Mr Buckland surfaced, about 50m to 100m away from the boat. "I heard him call out and I knew exactly what he'd seen and I turned the motor on," he said. "I didn't see the shark there at the time. I started the motor and went to go out to him and I then saw the shark...it was huge." Mr Jenzen said he hit the shark, which was as big as the boat, with the side of the boat when he was close to Mr Buckland. "It didn't move at all - it ignored me," he said. "I saw the shark attack him, but it never took him down. "Finally I got him (Mr Buckland) into the boat." Mr Jenzen said while he was pulling Mr Buckland into the boat, he felt the pulses being sent out by the shark pod. "I turned (the pod) off and got it off him as quick as I could." He said he left Mr Buckland in his wetsuit, but wrapped him in a doona, which was on board to protect the scallops from the sun, but he died shortly after. He tried to use Mr Buckland's mobile telephone to call for help, but the batteries had gone flat and the on-board radio wasn't working because of faulty wiring. He said he spotted whiting fishermen only a few minutes away and "steamed" toward them.
back to fatalities by country AUS
Shark POD didn't save diver - May 2002. Scallop diver Paul Buckland was wearing an activated shark-repelling device
during the savage shark attack that killed him. The 23-year-old
professional diver from Port Lincoln died in his diving partner's arms
after being bitten almost in half 13km west of Smoky Bay in the Great
Australian Bight on Tuesday.
Local fishermen believe the shark responsible for the attack was a
7m-long white pointer, seen in the area over the past fortnight. It is
understood Mr. Buckland was wearing an activated Shark POD
at the time of the attack - the same device used by the army and
competitors in the Sydney Olympics. Scallop diver Russell Barber
the attack from a boat 800m away and said it occurred at the surface.
"He had his Shark POD on, and it was working because it was giving his diving
partner shocks as he pulled him into the boat. "He was dead within 30
seconds - he had no leg and no hip area left." The 22-year-old diver said
his faith in the repelling device had been shattered. Production of the
Shark POD ceased in March after the launch of the Shark Shield by Adelaide
company SeaChange Technology. A spokesman said there could not be a safety
guarantee, but there had been no known attack on anyone wearing a Shark
"Thousands of people have used the technology in many parts of the
world over seven years, and (in) a comprehensive scientific test program
several years before that," he said. "Many, many lives have been saved by
this technology and, frankly, the limited facts about this incident don't
add up at this stage." Port Lincoln abalone diver Norm Craig, speaking on
behalf of the Buckland family, said: "Paul would have felt quite safe
because he had the POD on." Mr Craig said most divers felt the POD would
save them from a cruising shark, but not from a white pointer aggressively
My thoughts....The device this guy was wearing was designed to deter an average run of the mill shark. Not a 7meter....(that's 22 FEET LONG to us Americans) monster which was probably pretty damn hungry. It probably never felt the electric shocks that were supposed to deter it. And even if it did, it didn't care.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au back to fatalities by country AUS
CORONERS ACT, 1975 AS AMENDED
FINDING OF INQUEST
An Inquest taken on behalf of our Sovereign Lady the Queen
at Adelaide in the State of South Australia, on the 2nd and 22nd days
of February, 2001, before Wayne Cromwell Chivell, a Coroner for the said State,
concerning the disappearance of Cameron Smeaton Bayes.
I, the said Coroner, find that Cameron Smeaton Bayes, aged 25
years, late of 12 Juliette Place, Forrest Hill, Auckland, New Zealand, died at
Cactus Beach, near Point Sinclair, South Australia on the 24th day of September,
2000 as a result of multiple injuries. The circumstances of death were as
Cameron Smeaton Bayes disappeared on Sunday 24th
September 2000. He had been surfing at Cactus Beach, which is on the far
West Coast of South Australia.Section 12(1)(e) of the Coroners Act, 1975 empowers me to
conduct an inquest into "the disappearance from, or within, the State
of any person." I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to conduct an
inquest into the disappearance of Mr Bayes.
Cameron Bayes and his wife Tina-Marie arrived at Cactus
Beach on the 23rd September 2000. Mrs Bayes said that on 24th
September 2000, her husband went surfing at about 6.15am (exhibit C2a, page
Mr Jeffrey Hunter was sitting on a platform on a sandhill
at Cactus Beach at between 7.15am and 7.30am that morning, watching a lone
surfer, who was obviously Cameron Bayes, about 70 to 80 metres from shore.
Mr Hunter’s statement reads:-
"I looked at this man and saw a shark coming out
of the water around him, it was thrashing on and around the man. Its head
was shaking from side to side and thrashing in a circular motion, there
was a bit of blood in the water. I could see the man and the shark at the
same time and then they both went under the water. Where it was happening
it just looked like it was all shark, I couldn’t even see the surfboard.
The man came up, I only saw his head and body, he
seemed to be back on his board and started paddling. He made about three
metres and then the shark went for him again, the shark was thrashing and
shaking its head, there was a lot of blood. The shark seemed to take him
underwater and there were only a couple of bits of board left. It took him
under, and there was a bit more thrashing under the water.
A couple of minutes later I saw it surface about 500
metres out, it thrashed again and released the main bit of the board. It
rolled over and I could see the underside of the shark, it was clearly
white, the top part of the shark was a dark grey. The main part of the
board floated towards Caves.
Conditions at the time were overcast, no wind, misty
with a three to four foot swell. I know from surfing this beach that the
water where the attack occurred is about two metres deep. I would estimate
the shark was between four and five metres long."
(exhibit C4a, pages 1 - 2)
Mr Hunter’s son Harry, then aged eleven, also witnessed
the attack (see exhibit C3a).
Harry Hunter ran into the camping area and raised the
alarm. Mr Peter Ryan and several others ran to the top of the sandhill and
saw the shark rolling over and "a big spurt of blood" (exhibit
C5a). Mr Trevor Prow also saw the shark thrashing and what he thought was
the upper torso of a person in its mouth. He added:-
"I have been a professional fisherman for thirteen
years and know the shark was a white pointer about sixteen to eighteen
(exhibit C6a, page 1-2)
Dallas Power (exhibit C7a) and Bruce Martin (exhibit C8a)
made similar observations.
Mr Bayes’ disappearance was reported to the police by
telephone at Ceduna who alerted Senior Constable Brenton Philps at Penong,
about 25 kilometres away. Mr Philps promptly attended at Cactus Beach and
obtained statements from the previously mentioned witnesses. He also took
possession of three large pieces of Cameron Bayes’ surfboard which had
been collected by the witnesses.
Senior Constable Philps organised a search by boat of the
general area, although this was difficult in the area of the attack due to
the two metre swell.
Sergeant PA Heaft of Penong Police Station attended at
Cactus Beach and coordinated the subsequent search efforts. Throughout that
afternoon and for the following three days the area was searched thoroughly
by four wheel drive, motor cycle and on foot, but no further items of
significance were found.
back to fatalities by country AUS
CORONERS ACT, 1975 AS AMENDED
FINDING OF INQUEST
An Inquest taken on behalf of our Sovereign Lady the Queen
at Adelaide in the State of South Australia, on the 2nd and 22nd
days of February, 2001, before Wayne Cromwell Chivell, a Coroner for the said
State, concerning the disappearance of Jevan Wright.
I, the said Coroner, find that Jevan Wright, aged 17 years,
late of 26 Sinclair Street, Port Lincoln, died at Blackfellows Point near
Elliston, South Australia on the 25th day of September, 2000 as a
result of multiple injuries. The circumstances of death were as follows:-
Jevan Wright disappeared on Monday 25th
September 2000. He had been surfing at Blackfellows Point near Elliston, South
Australia.Section 12(1)(e) of the Coroners Act, 1975 empowers me to
conduct an inquest into "the disappearance from, or within, the State of
any person." I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to conduct an
inquest into the disappearance of Mr Wright.
Graham Keith Chapman, then aged 40 years, a fisherman of
Port Lincoln was the father of Jevan Wright’s girlfriend. On the 25th
September 2000 Mr Chapman was surfing at Blackfellows Point, which is
approximately 5 kilometres north of Elliston on the west coast of South
When Mr Chapman came out of the water at around 10.30am he
saw Jevan Wright getting changed to go surfing. When he returned at about
11.40am, Mr Chapman saw that Jevan was still surfing and so he and two other
men, Craig Pringle ("Nugget") and Kym Castley, paddled out to joint
Mr Chapman said there were a number of dolphins and also a
particularly friendly seal in the area where they were surfing.
At about 12.45pm, Mr Chapman, Jevan and Kim Castley all
decided to go in. Mr Castley caught the first wave in towards the cliffs, and
Mr Chapman saw that the seal followed him in. Jevan caught the next wave, but
he disappeared soon afterwards. Mr Chapman said:-
"Jevan caught the next wave in. When I thought that
he should have reached the rocks and standing up, I couldn’t see Jevan. I
was scanning the water and couldn’t see him anywhere and I turned to
Nugget and asked if he could see Jevan. Nugget couldn’t see him either.
The sea at the time was flat and a short time later, a wave came and lifted
us both up and I could see the back tail of the shark sticking out about two
feet out of the water. I could also see quite a bit of the length of the
body of the sharks tail, and Jevan’s board was inside of the shark and the
board looked quite small.
Jevan was wearing a black wet suit and a light blue
helmet, and I kept looking for the helmet but I couldn’t see it.
I then turned to Nugget and said, "It’s a shark
and it’s got Jevan".
Looking at the shark’s tail and the white of its
underbelly, I could tell that it was a white pointer and its tail was
bigger than the surfboard which is 6’2" long, and that wasn’t
taking into account the sharks body.
When the next wave lifted us up again, the shark was
still there, with its tail sticking out of the water, thrashing from side
to side. Jevan must have still been attached to his leg rope because the
board was still right alongside of the shark."
(Exhibit C2a page 2)
Mr Chapman and Mr Pringle then paddled their boards into
the rocks where they looked out to sea but could see nothing. They paddled out
again and recovered a piece of Jevan’s surfboard, which had been severely
damaged, and then paddled into shore and raised the alarm.
Mr Chapman gave a further statement on 2nd
January 2001 in which he provided some further information. He said:-
"I remember Jevan was wearing a light blue Gath
helmet, a special brand surfing helmet. I remember seeing Jevan’s helmet
and his right arm sticking out of the sharks mouth as he was being pushed
under the water. This part should have been included in my statement prior
to me seeing the back tail of the shark sticking out of the water."
(exhibit C2b page 2)
Mr Chapman’s version of these events is corroborated by
the statements of Mr Pringle (exhibit C3a) and Mr Castley (exhibit C5a). Mr
Castley confirmed Jevans disappearance, although he did not see the shark. Mr
Pringle said that he saw the shark’s tail thrashing and sending spray to
each side. (exhibit C3a, page 3).
Senior Constable A L Traeger of the Elliston Police Station
initially spoke to Mr Castley who came to his house. Constable Traeger
proceeded immediately to the area, having spoken to Mr Chapman on the way.
Constable Traeger then organised a search of the area for
the rest of the afternoon and for the following three days.
During the afternoon of the 20th September 2000,
a small piece of Jevan’s surfboard was found by Mr David Bascomb who had
been assisting in the search in his boat. The piece measured only about six
inches by four inches, and was found approximately one kilometre north west of
the surf-break. (exhibit C6a).
Nothing further was discovered during the subsequent
The surfboard and the fragment found by Mr Bascomb were
examined by Dr Jane Taylor, Forensic Odontologist. Dr Taylor is unable to
reach any firm conclusion that the damage evident in the surfboard and the
fragment was caused by a shark, since the fracture line was irregular in
nature and showed none of the characteristic markings. (see Exhibit C1a)
In view of the evidence, particularly the evidence of Mr
Chapman, I have no doubt that Jevan Wright died as a result of a shark attack.
Having regard to his evidence, the shark in question must have been an extremely
large one. Having regard to Mr Chapman’s observations, it is not surprising
that Jevan’s body, or a part thereof, has not been recovered. The precise
cause of his death cannot be ascertained, although it was obviously due to
back to fatalities by country AUS
Perth Businessman Killed by White Pointer. Cotteloe Beach, AU Nov. 6, 2000
men fought desperately to hunt away a shark as it fatally mauled a friend
off one of Perth's most popular beaches today. Local businessman and father-of-three Ken Crew, 49, died after having
his leg ripped off by what fisheries officers believe to be a white pointer
shark up to four metres long. Witnesses praised the bravery of two men who tried to fend off the shark
and pulled the dying man from the water. Mr Crew was returning from his daily swim when he was attacked about
30 metres off Cottesloe beach around 6.30am (WST). Fellow swimmer Dirk Avery, 52, suffered deep wounds on his feet as he
tried to fight off the shark. He was in a stable condition tonight in Fremantle
Hospital, where he was taken for surgery. A second rescuer, identified only as John, was unhurt. The men were part of a group of about 10 swimmers returning to shore
when the shark attacked in waist-deep water. Father Brian Morrison, a Perth priest and friend of the dead man, was
watching from a nearby cafe. "Two men went to rescue - one was hurt on the legs, he's in hospital,
but we don't know if it's too serious," he told ABC radio. "The other man I think is the hero because he really tried to drag
him away from the shark. "He seemed to run in and try to get rid of the shark in some way." Father Morrison administered the last rites to Mr Crew as he lay on
the beach. Family friend Lee Tate said a "very brave" Mr Avery had tried
to kick the shark away from Mr Crew. "When Ken was attacked by the shark the other man was attempting
to kick that shark away standing on the reef," he said. "The shark was so big and so many people saw it and had called
out `shark' ... but by that stage the attack had happened and people were
basically helpless to do anything about it. "He (Mr Crew) was helped onto shore with a severe loss of blood
and unfortunately, as I understand it, he died on the beach."
Mr Tate said Mr Crew's wife Robin was walking on the beach when the
attack happened, and although she did not see the incident, was at the
scene soon after he was dragged to shore. Mrs Crew had suffered severe shock and trauma as a result, he said. The attacked happened in front of scores of witnesses at the popular
beach, including cafe owner Kim Gamble, whose fashionable Blue Duck Cafe
overlooks the scene of the attack. A distressed Mr Gamble described a "sea of blood" spreading
in the water as the shark attacked. "From the balcony I could see this huge shark - it was really huge,"
he said. "There was a whole sea of blood and it was pulling the person. "It's something I wouldn't want to see again." One rescuer who helped drag Mr Crew to shore was taken to hospital in
an ambulance suffering shock, surf officials said. Beaches from Fremantle to Hillarys remained closed as police and fisheries
officials mounted an intensive sea and aerial search for the shark. A four-metre white pointer was spotted at Cottesloe more than three
hours after the attack and was followed by officials in boats and helicopters
for about 45 minutes before they lost sight of it. Fisheries WA research director Dr James Penn said the great white was
a protected species and would only be killed as a last resort and after
special permission had been obtained from environmental agencies. Last month, Perth beachgoers were warned to take care after two sharks
- one believed to be a white pointer - were spotted off the city's northern
beaches. Today's attack was the second at Cottesloe in three years. In October 1997, two men escaped injury when a five-metre shark - again
believed to be a white pointer - bit their surf-ski in half 200 metres
off shore. There had not been a fatal shark attack in Western Australia since 1995,
when David Alan Weir, 29, was killed while diving for abalone on the south
coast. Today's death follows two fatal shark attacks in South Australia in
September. Special Report filed by Bill May AAP
back to fatalities by country AUS
Tony Donoghue disappeared on Saturday 29 May 1999. He had
been windsurfing at Hardwicke Bay on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.
Section 12(1)(b) of the Coroners Act empowers me to conduct
an inquest into "the disappearance (from any place) of any person
ordinarily resident within the State". Mr. Donoghue was ordinarily resident
at 226 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide. I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction
to conduct an inquest into his disappearance.
Mr. Donoghue had been staying at Hardwicke Bay with
friends. He left to go windsurfing at about 12.15p.m. One of his friends, John
Laurie, saw him windsurfing at about 2.30p.m. He said that he was "only a
speck and far out" (Exhibit C.1a, p1).
When Mr. Donoghue had not returned by 5.00p.m., and his
friends could not see him on the bay, they conducted a search along the
shoreline and then reported his disappearance to the police.
A search was then organised by Constable Philip Copley from
Minlaton Police Station. Mr. Donoghue’s sailboard was located at about
7.45p.m. Its position suggested that it had washed ashore by tidal movement
rather than having been dragged ashore (Exhibit C.4a, p2). It was undamaged.
An even more extensive search was then mounted. It was
coordinated by Sergeant R. Badenoch, a qualified Search and Rescue Mission
Police STAR Division and Water Response Unit participated,
along with the helicopter Polair 2. The knowledge of local volunteers was
utilized to calculate wind and tidal movements, and to conduct a sea search with
Mr. Donoghue’s wetsuit and harness were found during the
night. Both had sustained damage, consistent with a shark attack. This was later
confirmed by Dr. K. Brown, Forensic Odontologist (see Exhibit C.3a). Dr. Brown
found that there were "numerous incisions and multiple branching tears
distributed randomly penetrating through the 4.0 millimetre thickness of the
neoprene back and front panels". He concluded:-
"The damage to the fragment of surfing wetsuit,
harness and yoke, said to have been identified as belonging to Tony Donoghue,
is consistent with damage produced by the triangular serrated teeth of a
Great White Shark".
(Exhibit C.3a, p2).
The search was discontinued at 2.00a.m., and recommenced at
6.00a.m. on 30 May 1999 and continued during the morning, but nothing further
Unfortunately, Mr. Donoghue’s body has never been found.
In all the circumstances, and particularly in view of Dr.
Brown’s opinion as to the cause of the damage to the wetsuit, I find on the
balance of probabilities that Tony Donoghue died on 29 May 1999 of multiple
injuries as a result of a white shark attack while windsurfing at Hardwicke Bay.
back to fatalities by country AUS
Jury clears skipper in U.S. divers' deaths
Nov 25, 1999
by BARBIE DUTTER
SYDNEY, Australia A boat captain was cleared Wednesday in the
deaths of two American tourists who were abandoned during a scuba-
diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef last year.The bodies of Thomas and Eileen Lonergan have never been found,
prompting suggestions that they deliberately "disappeared" or that
Lonergan murdered his wife before killing himself.
Last year, the coroner in Cairns said the couple had either drowned
or been eaten by sharks after being left behind at St. Crispin Reef, 40
miles off the north Queensland coast. The skipper, Geoffrey Nairn, was ordered to stand trial for
unlawful killing by way of criminal negligence. Nairn was found not
guilty Wednesday after two hours of deliberations by a jury at Cairns
Supreme Court. The Lonergans, both experienced divers from Baton Rouge, La., were
reported missing two days after the diving day-trip on Nairn's boat,
the Outer Edge.
Thomas Lonergan, 33, and his 28-year-old wife had arrived in
Australia after teaching in Fiji. They joined 24 other tourists for the
Great Barrier Reef trip, but when the boat returned to Port Douglas the
Lonergans were not on board. The following month, their scuba vests were found on a beach at Cooktown, about 100 miles north of Port Douglas. In June 1998, a diving slate was found in mangroves with a message
apparently scrawled by one of the Lonergans. It read: "We have been
abandoned by . . . Outer Edge. Help!"
Nairn's attorney, Tony Glynn, introduced nine witnesses who
testified they had seen the Lonergans around Australia after their
reported disappearance. The court also heard excerpts from the couple's diaries. In one
entry Thomas Lonergan wrote: "I feel as though my life is complete and
I'm ready to die." Eileen Lonergan wrote in her diary: "Tom's not suicidal, but he's got a death wish." Glynn said he was not advancing the murder-suicide theory by
reading from the diaries, but was making the point that Thomas Lonergan
was unhappy with his life and may have wanted to "disappear" to start a
new one. He said there is no evidence that the Lonergans had died at sea.
By GUY DIXON
Like the diving equipment that
washed ashore in Australia, the story of the mysterious disappearance
of American divers Thomas and Eileen Lonergan off the Great Barrier
Reef in 1998 has a habit of resurfacing. The list of
recovered articles are a scriptwriter's dream: a wetsuit believed to be
Eileen's found after they went missing with jagged tears in the bottom,
other assorted scuba gear belonging to the Lonergans, including dive
vests and air tanks, which could have kept them buoyant, even a slate
used for writing underwater with a distress message scrawled on it. Peace
Corps volunteers who had been working in the South Pacific, Thomas, in
his early 30s, and Eileen, in her late 20s, had gone on a 40-minute
group dive miles offshore. Because of an apparently botched head count,
their boat left them behind, and they became one of diving's great
unsolved mysteries. This week's shark-infested survival film
Open Water resurrects the story once again. But the movie is only
loosely based on the Lonergans and stays clear of the many intricacies
of their story, because even the filmmakers thought no audience would
believe them. "This has been a nightmare from day one and now
it is all going to come back again," the former skipper of the Outer
Edge, Jack Nairn, who was accused of leaving the couple behind, told
the Australian newspaper The Sunday Mail. He was eventually acquitted
of manslaughter. A massive rescue mission didn't start until
two days after their disappearance, when the skipper finally looked
inside an unclaimed bag and found Thomas Lonergan's wallet. The couple
was never found. Rumours circulated. Some claimed to have seen them
after their disappearance and that they may have come back on another
boat. But a police investigation found no evidence of this.
were also discovered among the Lonergans' possessions in which Thomas
had written months beforehand, "I feel as though my life is complete
and I'm ready to die." Meanwhile, Eileen had written closer to the
disappearance about her husband's "death wish." Whether prophetic or
simply the kind of despondent, off-hand comments people sometimes
consign to journals, they added a layer of sensationalism to the
disappearance. Some blamed the uncovered diaries as the local diving
industry's attempt to find a motive and minimize the bad press. The
filmmakers of Open Water, who are themselves avid scuba divers,
emphasize that such an accident is extremely rare, but, since writing
the script, "we've been contacted by people from the Solomon Islands. A
couple were left for 20 hours in the water. It happened off Catalina
Island, Calif. In Egypt, 12 divers [were stranded] -- luckily they were
found. It happened in Key Largo, Fla., while we were shooting. It
back to fatalities by country AUS
Sunday, March 3, 1985, Port Lincoln, South Australia:
Shirley Ann Durdin, a
33-year-old housewife and mother of four, had recently moved with her
family back to the bay town of Port Lincoln because allergies prevented
her husband, Barry, from working any longer at their farm in the town
of Karkoo. She and her husband, three young daughters, and son
went out snorkelling for the day at Peake Bay on the far Western side of South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.
The last one in the water, Shirley Ann slowly made her way back towards the shore while her family waited for her on the shoreline. As she swam she scanned the bay bottom in shallow six-foot-deep water
about 150 yards out. Suddenly, and without warning, a great white shark that
eyewitnesses estimated at 19 feet long attacked her, biting her completely in half. By the time rescuers could get to her location, all that could be seen was Mrs. Durdin's headless torso. Seconds later the great white appeared again and took that as well. Friends held a distraught
Barry Durdin down to prevent him from jumping into the water after his
wife, while he hysterically kept repeating, "She's gone, she's gone."
In the days that followed, authorities searched the shoreline for
remains, but found only a single swim fin.
This is a view of Peake Bay in Australia. This area is on the Western side of Eyre Peninsula. The Eastern side of Eyre Peninsula is the Western shoreline of Spencer Gulf (the large finger protruding into Australia) which has been described by local shark experts as the "White Pointer's restaurant".
back to fatalities by country AUS
Spear-fishing champion viciously attacked by a shark.
In 1963 South Australian spear-fishing champion
Rodney Fox was viciously attacked by a shark. Although he suffered near
fatal wounds, today Rodney works with sharks which he now sees as
‘beautiful animals’ and strongly supports the protection of one of the
most feared predators – the Great White. RODNEY FOX: December 8, 1963 is a date that I'll never forget. I was
the South Australian spear fishing champion, and I was trying to regain
my title. Halfway through the competition, I'd swum off shore trying to
find a big strong fish. And I dived down, I saw one. I was
within split seconds of shooting it -- when all of a sudden this huge
crunch, and it hit me in the chest, knocked my gun out of my hand, the
mask off my face, and I was hurled through the water faster than I've
ever swam before. It was just a nightmare. In the hospital,
they cut my wetsuit off me, and they found that there were these huge
gashes and teeth marks, and every rib in my chest had been broken, hole
through the shoulder blade, the lung had been punctured.
See photos of Rodney's horrific wounds here. : These photos are graphic.
miracle is the main artery from the heart to the stomach was left
exposed, together with the spleen. One nick and I would have died.
Nothing was missing, so when they stitched me up, and I -- I repaired,
and I've really nothing wrong with me today, except the scars. Death,
devil, hell -- that's the level that I put this word 'shark' into in
the early days. It was out there, it was the worst thing in the world,
but we knew so little about it. After I had killed four or five
great whites on hooks and lines, and we'd studied them for quite a few
film crews -- and I had actually built cages and we'd filmed them
swimming around, and felt safe, a new world came about, because we were
now watching these beautiful animals glide and swim through the water,
and we saw them in a different way than anybody had seen them before. They didn't come up and try and kill us or attack us every time they saw us. They
were just looking for food. And the food that they eat and pursue is
the sick, the weak, the slow, the ones with viruses, all the ones that
are very plentiful, and so the sharks keep pressure -- something that
humans can't do -- on all of the populations. And without them, there'd
be a big mess in the oceans. The protection of the great white
shark is a great step forward. We really don't know much about the
other sharks. They could be in trouble. But the great white shark is
the most feared predator in the world today, and so it gets a lot of
publicity. And having them protected and giving a chance to learn more
about them is a wonderful thing. The thing that attacked me many
years ago was an incredible spirit or a problem or a death or a fear or
something, but now I look back and I realise that the sharks really
aren't man-eaters, that they are part of our life, part of our ocean,
and they deserve more respect than being just thought of as 'the best
shark's a dead shark'.
Now Rodney runs his own Great White adventure tours
Rodney Fox has had a pretty exciting life. He has scuba dived with sharks and as you have just read from the article above is one of the few people on the planet that can actually say "I have been in the jaws of a living Great White shark". Another exciting story I wanted to include here is a conversation that occurred between Rodney and "The Sharkman" Alex Buttigieg. Find Mr. Buttigieg's site link on the shark links page.
This following story was another close call for Rodney. Almost equally as frightening as a shark attack.
Another terrifying moment in your life was in 1991, when you were diving with Dr. Eugenie Clark, off Catalina Island, in California. During the filming of the IMAX special "In Search of the Great Sharks". What happened?
That was another very close call. I was being filmed diving with Blue Sharks, and wearing a special protective chain mail suit of the type made famous by Ron and Valerie Taylor. The trouble with the particular suit I was wearing, was that it didn't fit me very well, actually being custom made for prominent U/W film maker Howard Hall. It bunched up at my joints, and greatly restricted my movement. I was also wearing a full face mask with a special voice intercom speaking function. This made it very hard to equalize my ears to the pressure when diving, unlike normal face masks where you can pinch your nose and just blow to equalize. The incident happened on one dive when I entered the water and accidentally lost a fin which drifted down below me. I swam down to retrieve it, but with my restricted movement I found I could not get it back on my foot. Then with the compression of my wetsuit and the heavy weight of the chain mail suit, I found I had lost buoyancy and was sinking in water over 3000 ft deep and I was quickly tiring swimming with only one fin on.
As I was sinking, the pressure was building up in my ears to an excruciating level of pain. In the struggle the inflator hose of my BCD had drifted up above my head out of the reach of my restricted arms. With the weight of the suit replacing the need for a weight belt, I had nothing to drop, but I finally managed to remove a few 3 LB weights from my BCD pockets with the difficulty of working with a taped on chain mail glove and the pain throbbing in my ears. Still I continued to sink and with pain and exhaustion I still had an awareness that if I dislodged my full face mask it would flood and drown me immediately! I looked down into the dark depths of 3000 ft seeming to come up and swallow me like a set of giant doors. It was then I became terrified. I reluctantly screamed out "help me... help me........I'm drowning" on my full face communications mask, knowing that the surface crew would likely have little or no idea even of where I was, and that my wife Kay was on board listening at the surface. A state of rage dwelled up in me and I shook the scuba tank from side to side on my back in anguish until I felt it shift slightly. From this hint of encouragement I shook further desperately from side to side until I could remove my Tank and BCD, and then I was able to reach the inflator button. Pressing that button down hard, I started to wonder if such a small flotation device could take me up from such a depth? Gradually I felt my arms go up and I started to rise, faster and faster bubbles releasing all around me. On hitting the surface like a Polaris Missile, I had no hesitation on tearing off my expensive coms. face mask. I ended up a few hundred metres away from the boat and we were both more than relieved to see each other. With blood running from my nose, the doctor said to take a long rest from diving to heal the damaged tissues... So the film crew gave me a couple days off, some aspirin and we went on to finish that part of the film!