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Special Report from AAF Correspondent: J. David Varty
from The Herald Sun, Australia


Shark takes diver from rescuer
By Sam Lienert
30 April 2002

A scallop diver was killed when a shark dragged him from his mate's arms as he was being pulled into a boat.

The 23-year-old professional diver was attacked as he was working off Smoky Bay in the Great Australian Bight.

His companion escaped injury but was taken to hospital for shock.

The two men were diving for scallops off the small South Australian fishing port when the attack happened.

SA Ambulance spokesman Lee Francis said it was believed the victim was a professional diver from Port Lincoln who had been diving off a boat with another man.

He said the attack happened about 12.40pm (CST).

"I understand he came to the surface, there was a cry for help," Mr Francis said.

"But as the other person tried to get him on board the shark grabbed him and pulled him underneath."

Smoky Bay resident Shane Debnam said there had been two boats with scallop divers working in the area, with two divers on each.

It was the fifth fatal shark attack in South Australian water in the past four years.

Two surfers were taken on consecutive days in September 2000, a sailboarder was taken in May 1999, and in June 1998 a man was killed while diving for abalone.

The Great Australian Bight is a known haunt of great white sharks, but there was no confirmation of the species involved in today's attack

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