A 60-year-old woman has died of injuries consistent with a shark attack sustained off the coast of Western Australia.
If confirmed as a shark attack, it will be the second such fatal incident near Perth in less than a week.
The woman was diving between the One Mile and Three Mile reefs off Mindarie Marina, in Perth’s northern suburbs when she was killed.
A 43-year-old male companion was diving with her. He says he swam to the surface after feeling something nudge him in the water. It was then that he claims to have seen a shark attack the woman. He managed to pull her body onto their boat, but was too late to save her.
Surf Life Saving WA issued three public reports of shark sightings via Twitter on the day of the suspected attack.
Cont - shark sighted 1km offshore , shark sighted - possible shark interaction— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) June 5, 2016
fisheries investigating Mindarie Beach, Perth Metro.
Public report 3.5m white shark sighted 13:31hrs 05/06, Binningup Boat Ramp, north of Bunbury 3km offshore , heading south.— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) June 5, 2016
Public report 4.5m white shark sighted 13:33hrs 05/06, Mindarie Beach, Perth Metro 300m offshore , 300-400m off Mindarie Marina .— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) June 5, 2016
The Department of Fisheries says it is treating the death as a fatal shark incident It has sent boats out to patrol the area and says it will be deploying shark capture gear near the site of the reported attack.
“Given the nature of the injuries and the location of the incident, it is likely that a large white shark, greater than three metres in size, is responsible,” a spokesperson for the department said.
Witnesses in a nearby boat say the shark was bigger than their 5.3-metre vessel.
Beaches on either side of Mindarie boat ramp have been closed and will remain so until Monday, according to the City of Wanneroo.
Second fatal attack
The incident comes days after 29-year-old Ben Gerring died of injuries from a shark attack while surfing south of Perth.
He lost a leg and was placed into an induced coma following Tuesday’s incident (May 31), but died on Friday (June 3).
That shark was captured on baited drum lines and killed. A state government order has been given to do the same with the suspected killer in Mindarie.