A shark attack was reported off the coast of Cull Island on Sunday morning. The attack caused the death of a diver whose body is still missing in the waters. The woman who accompanied him in the boat is said to have returned to the shore and taken to the hospital to be treated for shock. The incident was first reported by Surf Saving WA around 1.38 pm local time.
The man was diving near the boat when the incident happened. The region is known for diving and surfing. Esperance Shire president Ian Mickel said that the attack was devastating. The warnings were released about the presence of the shark soon after the shark attack was confirmed.
"I think it's a real tragedy to lose people enjoying the ocean," Mickel said to Perth Now.
Several incidents of attack in the region
There have been multiple reports of attacks in the region. Surf Saving WA reported the sighting of a shark in the region around 9.30 am local time. The Shire of Esperance councillor Shelly Payne had said last month that there should be more measures taken to make sure that the public is aware of the shark attacks. The Councillors agreed that there was a need for the same and erected a sign near the beach which asked the people to check if there were any recent shark sightings online before entering the water.
Sharksmart website has reported several sightings in the past and continues to be an aid during these situations. The Councillors also developed a shark attack response policy. This would be the second attack in the region in less than three years. In 2017 Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was attacked by a shark while she was vacationing with her family. She passed away due to the attack. Similarly, Sean Pollard lost his right hand and left arm during an attack in 2014.
A State Government trial of SMART drum-lines along the South West coast near Gracetown is happening with regard to the lines. The trail started in February. The sharks caught on the lines will be tagged and relocated and released one metre from shore. The search for the man continues with the involvement of the authorities from fisheries, police forces' air wing, divers and surfers.