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Monday, 6 November, 2000, 10:59 GMT
Shark attack shocks Perth
Great white shark
A great white shark is believed to be responsible
A man has been killed by a shark off a beach in the West Australian capital, Perth, in what is thought to be the first fatal attack in the area in 30 years.


There was a whole sea of blood

Witness Kim Gamble
Hundreds of people were in the water at the time.

Another man was injured in the attack at Cottesloe, considered to be one of the city's safest family beaches.

Police evacuated the beach and mounted an air and sea search for the shark but were hindered by poor weather conditions.

'Sea of blood'

Cafe owner Kim Gamble said he saw a "huge and frenzied" shark attack the two men, who had just gone in for an early morning swim.


He said he thought it was a white pointer shark, otherwise known as the great white.

"There was a whole sea of blood and it was pulling the person," he added.

The first man, a 49-year-old father of three, was dragged from the water and died on the beach after losing part of his leg.

The second was taken to hospital suffering from shock after being bitten in both feet.

Other attacks

Two surfers were killed in separate attacks near Elliston in the neighbouring state of South Australia in September.

And in October 1997 two men paddling at Cottesloe beach escaped uninjured when a five-metre shark, also believed to be a white pointer, bit their surf-ski in half.

Local officials said that sharks were often seen in the area in late spring and early summer chasing migrating fish and whales.

Great white sharks are found in most parts of the world in temperate waters close to the shoreline.

They are predatory but rarely attack humans.

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See also:

26 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Sharks kill two surfers
15 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Sharks used to deter immigrants
19 Apr 00 | Sci/Tech
Further shark controls rejected
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