Another shark attack at Gracetown

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thermalben started the topic in Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 3:18pm

Bloody hell - really terrible news from Gracetown with another fatal shark attack at Lefthanders reported this morning. It's the town's third attack in ten years, and what - seven or eight attacks statewide in the last couple of years? I've lost count.

I was speaking with one of the local dive shops a few years back and they said that the reef system comprising Cow Bommie was one of a couple of the state's breeding grounds for white pointers, so shark sightings were just a regular way of life in that neck of the woods. With tragic consequences today unfortunately.

I think there's no doubt anymore that WA has taken the crown from SA as the sharkiest state in the country.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/man-dies-following-gracetown-shark-attack-20131123-2y2d3.html

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sandspit Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 3:29pm

very sad RIP

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udo Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 3:52pm

RIP brother.
timeline of w.a. attacks on that link page, shocking.

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Craig Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 3:55pm

I thought it was maybe settling down over there, but then this sad news. Reast in peace :(

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uplift Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 3:57pm

Yeh, bummer. Re attack frequency, this is our worst time of year, and 3 ab divers were harrassed at different spots on the same day last week. Its hard to compare and assess, as we always wonder what would happen if there were the same ever growing number of people, surfing as often around here as there are in the SW WA region.

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udo Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 4:00pm

the stats show qld and nsw fatal shark attacks are 4 times higher than s.a or w.a.

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uplift Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 4:09pm

Yeh, its not all roses over there. Just after I left Ballina, their version of a 'drought' broke, people were suddenly getting chomped by bull sharks, and there were attacks at 7 mile. I had to go back quickly not long after, and had a really late surf at nth wall with just Jo Hudson out. Tailor were jumping around, and he was totally freaking, telling me how many sightings there had been, drove himself crazy, and just cracked and bolted. The south wall paddle became a no-no.

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uplift Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 4:10pm

Again, the numbers/frequency of surfing thing comes into play though.

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cycd Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 at 8:58pm

The ellensbrook to gracetown stretch would have to be the closest (geographically) group of shark attacks recorded surely ... the reef this happened at this a.m is one i frequent too, i have seen a noah (swimming past) there while in the water about two years back.

I have been trying to get the name of the person attacked, has anyone heard? I have been trying to contact my mate who lives with me in Margs who fits the age & description via news on the web.

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udo Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 5:33am

cycd - chris boyd R.I.P.

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simba Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 8:29am

yeah uplift ive dived out of the ballina river mouth doing a drift with my mate years ago,100 ft viso one day and no b/s as far as you could see viso wise there were whalers and bullsharks,waiting for the runout and lunch,surprised there was that many.As for whites well they are a different kettle of fish so to speak and theres a lot more out there than they would have us believe,but most attacks seem to be over in that corner of wa which makes you wonder if its not a terratorial thing by one or maybe two sharks.Saw a doco recently where this tourist boat is filming these orcas off california and one orca dives down and surfaces with a 12ft white which the pod ripped to pieces in front of the lucky tourists,apparently all the tagged whites in the area disappeared for days after.So maybe play the sound of orcas under water along the beaches.?At least trial it.Feel for the guy and what his family would be going thru.

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braithy Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 9:27am

cycd wrote: The ellensbrook to gracetown stretch would have to be the closest (geographically) group of shark attacks recorded surely ... the reef this happened at this a.m is one i frequent too, i have seen a noah (swimming past) there while in the water about two years back.

I'm know you were probably referring to the worst in Australia, which would be true. I'm pretty sure off the top of my head, Reunion Island is the worst in the world though. The amount of deaths there in the last decade is full on. So much so, the government there banned surfing and swimming and has shut down entire coastlines.

I know some old fishos from my time in south africa, and they say they've never seen so many great whites at any points in their life as to what they see now. And they've been doing it for 40-odd years.

I have family in esperence, WA and they say the abalone divers say similar things now too, re population of whites has exploded in the last 3/4's of a decade.

If this is true on a global scale, what are the causes? Tuna -- which the juve's feed on -- numbers have never been lower at any point in history as what they are now.

So ... if their juvenile food source is shrinking, wouldn't natural selection predicate their global numbers would be shrinking, not exploding?

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simba Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 9:49am

Years ago big game fishermen used to target sharks as part of the sport especially great whites and fishermen in general would hook them and certainly not release them. Seems as though the juveniles love shallow sandy beach set ups as in stockton beach at newcastle and surrounds and off areas like trestles in cali ,see sharkmen on foxtel,similar bottom cause they like rays, crabs etc easy prey till they move onto bigger prey to support there bulk.They are protected now and im sure the stocks of australian salmon have recovered,i think the cannery closed down ? as with the kingfish stocks as they dont use traps any more,thank god ,so there food supply in my opinion has increased .Certainly think the idea of cage diving and associating food and people is a big mistake and should be stopped.

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cycd Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 10:19am

udo wrote: cycd - chris boyd R.I.P.

Cheers udo ... saw this on the news last night and definately recognise the face.

Very sad RIP

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reecen Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 12:23pm

Condolences to the family and friends of Chris Boyd.

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cycd Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 12:58pm

Where was that pic taken reecen? west coast SA? .... they be some large fish

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reecen Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 1:42pm

Cycd don't know for sure but think it is from Ceduna.
Alf Dean is a legend among shark fishing circles, pretty sure he still holds the record for biggest fish ever landed on a rod and reel.
No one thinning out the numbers of these big boys anymore, like they used to.
How's the size of the chunk bitten out of the head of that shark.

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simba Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 2:51pm

if memory serves me correct the biggest white caught was in hawaii

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udo Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 3:29pm

cuba or Wikipedia quotes a 7m white in Taiwan.

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cycd Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 5:39pm

Yeah i noticed that bite .... those prehistoric things are part submarine!

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yorkessurfer Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 6:13pm

So sad for his family & kids. They're such big creatures and living and surfing in White Pointer territory they are never far from your thoughts. Nervous jokes mask the reality that you don't really have a chance if one wants you.
This is a replica of a huge White that was caught off Streaky Bay and broke the record for biggest caught on a rod and reel. How he managed to land the thing I have no idea?

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maddogmorley Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 7:54pm

If I'm not wrong yorkes that replica in the servo held the world record for 5 mins or so.....until a baby seal with a chain tied around it's neck fell out....pretty sure that's the one anyway but happy to be corrected?

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uplift Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 8:08pm

Yeh simba, that river mouth is the perfect spot for a feed for them. I hated that south wall paddle. Over here its pretty basic I reckon. They used to get bumped off left right and centre, by all of the fishing codes. That one at streaky is big, but over the years there have been some burgers caught, and as its illegal, they don't get bandied about. We saw one caught at flinders that was monstrous, and the jaws were ridiculous. The surfing doctor that used to be in Elliston was about 6'3", and I'm 6' and we could have swum down its throat with eeze without getting touched. It made your hair stand on end looking at the things. Then the tuna farms/cage diving thing makes them hang around and get trained to check us out more. Semi loads of pilchards are dumped in the ocean daily now. Its terrible for the guy, and his family. but what to do, we surfed today, despite all the sightings, in inco surf, lots of sitting around. Crazy really.

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yorkessurfer Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 8:10pm

Your probably right maddog, I just read the that on the wall in there! You can see the headline in the background. But I think that Dion Gilmore was a bit of a shonk? Never let the truth get in the way of a good story hey? Anyway feeling for the surfers in SW WA. What next?

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udo Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 8:37pm

deepseacreatures.org has pics of gilmores and alf deans pointers and a 20ft monster caught off Philip island.

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freeride76 Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 at 9:35pm

Yeah, that Phillip Island white was road showed around by Vic Hislop.

RIP Chris Boyd. Deepest sympathy to the family.

Food for juvenile whites : aus salmon; increasing. Seals; increasing.

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kellyslater Monday, 25 Nov 2013 at 1:33am

I was there not far from when in happened, a dude came running from a long way away to warn us, (cheers man/legend.) everyone came in, and was pretty heavy situation when crew were told what happened.

Rip

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Craig Monday, 25 Nov 2013 at 6:41am

Yeah, that Phillip Island one is just stupidly big! Scary :o

RIP Chris.

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blak Monday, 25 Nov 2013 at 11:40am

RIP

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stunet Monday, 25 Nov 2013 at 11:56am

Chris Boyd originally came from the Sunshine Coast. Local photographer, Jack Dekort, said Chris' "enthusiastic presence was infectious, with a grin ear to ear that will be missed dearly."

Couple of photos of Chris surfing:


[img][/img]

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Craig Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 at 2:02pm

Interesting quotes from this article yesterday http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-25/authorities-attempt-to-catch-shark-involved-in-fatal-attack/5114356

Tom Innes is calling for a cull but the paper has then grouped in the Margaret River Board Rider Club with him.. "The Margaret River Boardriders Club has called for a cull of all sharks over three metres as a result of the attack."

There are also a couple of other locals quoted at wanting a cull.

This debate comes up all the time but I reckon most surfers understand they're stepping into the sharks terriotry and hence take that risk on board.

To call for a cull just for out own selfish reasons is poor form I reckon.

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 at 10:25pm

Craig wrote:

Yeah, that Phillip Island one is just stupidly big! Scary :o

I remember when they got this one i was just a grom and it was caught only a few km from where i was learning to surf often alone after school.

There is actually suppose to be an even bigger one around these parts still out there, VIC has wanted to catch it but obviously cant these days.

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wellymon Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 at 10:12am

Let Vic get it, I reckon.
They're like terrorists, get the main one and it mite slow them down a little..?

I think that one was caught by Vic, 2.133 tonnes hows the SWL on that fishing twine, pretty impressive.

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simba Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 at 2:44pm

Correct me if im wrong but i heard there were two GWs?Wouldnt be the first time.

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nochaser Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 at 9:45pm

RIP

Don't know where I read it but the netting off east coast Newcastle to the Gong nets 6 whites per year on average and they are always the same size. Juveniles at Stockton beach haven't graduated to the bigger things on the menu still eating fish, rays ect…. sub 3m white sharks

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southey Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 at 10:10pm

simba , your not getting confused with Brad who was taken very closeby ( noiseys ) in 2005?
that was definitely two whites , one large >4m and one < 3m ...?

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superflyte Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 at 10:56pm

Yeah, Brad was 2004. A White and a Bronze, from memory. I lost a best mate to a 6m white in WA in 2005. We had actually surfed Lefty's 6 days before he was taken - further up the coast. I feel for his family and friends.

Still a tough call for me, particularly in an open ocean break, even after 8-1/2 years.

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southey Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 12:07am

yeah Geoff .? I Barely knew him , but mates mourned his loss heavily .

From what people told me , he was on the first stop of a New gig , and pretty much jumped straight over board after anchoring to snorkel . And was gone shortly after ( they didn't find a trace ) . Some estimated it to be > 6m . Plays on ya mind , especially alone and at offshore locales .

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superflyte Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 12:49pm

Yep. I won't go into too much detail, but it swam right past a group of snorkelers to single him out. It was as wide as a small car. I have many friends still in the boating industry, who say they've never seen this many sharks. If you're on Facebook, there is a good discussion on the "People who share the ocean" page about what could be done.

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KA from WA Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 2:01pm

I've been using a ESDS (Hawaiian Shark Shield) for the last year & a half for surfing down south.
So far so good, although looking at those 3 to 5 metre great whites I dont know how they will perform.

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udo Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 2:38pm

ESDS shark deterrent test ,vimeo and the vid on there web site - not very convincing
anyone see the shark /orca show on the a.b.c. a few weeks ago, with a large white purposely ramming a tinnie with the intentions of getting at the scientists on board ,wild stuff, sorry any small elec current will not stop one these fuckers in attack mode.

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simba Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 4:13pm

I agree with udo,they cant guarantee shark shields will work all the time and i think if its your turn and one has you lined up nothing is going to stop it.They should be testing ( maybe they have) orca noise,there one natural enemy.

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grug Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 6:56pm

The 'dead shark odour' they use in that documentary that Simba refers to above seems to have serious potential… Watch 'The Whale that Ate Jaws' on youtube.

The scientists are still not entirely sure why and how every last one of the 100 or so whites all disappeared from the Farrallon's directly following the orca killing one of them. But they observed exactly the same thing a few years later when another pod of Orca's rocked up. One of the tagged whites hightailed it to 500 metres and pretty much followed the bottom of the ocean all the way to Hawaii… That is a pretty damn serious flight instinct. It could be assumed that all of the other whites did something similar cause none of them came back until the next year like normal… foregoing their yearly sealion buffet.

It is hard to believe that the 'death odour' could be detected by all the sharks in the area so i would say it is more likely a mix of the odour and the Orca sounds that relayed the danger to all of the whites. Still, the effect of the synthesised 'death odour' on the lemon shark and reef sharks in a feeding frenzy is intense and immediate… If that works for whites then some of that in a slow drip release from something on your board or legs could be very effective. Mixed with Orca sound stations in particular spots and you might send em all back to SA, VIC, QLD, NZ and South Africa… Now if it was super effective and every coast started doing it what would happen then?? Maybe they would work out that it was all a ruse after awhile? If it was too effective it could actually effect breeding and feeding and damage the population…

Research time…

I wonder also if the death odour effect makes nets and buoyed baits more effective when there are dead sharks rotting away in and on them?! Removing the carcasses might be counter-productive in terms of keeping sharks away?

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3-for-9 Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 8:28pm

Very sad. When we finally do something that helps people avoid shark attacks, whatever that is, it won't mean much to the family and friends of those that have already been killed.

The last thing they remember isn't that they are doing what they love most, rather it is unimaginable fear, pain and anger. That's the worst thing about all this.

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simba Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 8:31pm

Yeah Grug,your on the money mate the only thing about the Death Odour theory is that Great whites sometimes attack there own when there hooked by fishermen so you would think that it could be more the presence of the orcas that made them hightail it.On another level i think gws are quite intellegent more so than we give them credit for and apparently can dive to great depths feeding on giant squid just as sperm whales do by raising there blood temperature to combat the cold at those depths.So i wonder if the sperm whales are there other arch enemy?As Grug said more Research is needed.

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sunshine Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 9:50pm

dont rely on dead shark odour to "deter" sharks !. apparrently it needs to be ROTTEN shark odour ,which can infact REPELL sharks.
synthetic equivalents of this chemical are available
but unfortunately its toxic to all other aquatic species .not sure how well this would work out.

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mothart Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 9:57pm

A year or two ago, some shark researcher was on ABC radio and said pointers don't like black & white stripes. He said they didn't know why and more work was needed.
I didn't think of killer whales, but maybe there is a connection.
At the time I painted a basic zebra spray on the bottom of the board I always ride at the point, and lately on my flippers and wetsuit (didn't work that well).
It's amazing how well a placebo can get you though a spooky surf.

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southey Thursday, 28 Nov 2013 at 10:25pm

thats fine mothy ,
but looking like a Zebra . you would probably be taken down by a lion before you the left land .
either that or schools kids would walk all over ya . :)

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grug Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 1:25am

That's interesting sunshine… if the substance was used on a slow drip I doubt it would affect other sea life too much? … but could keep a shark away from getting too close to a line up??

I remember the zebra pattern thing being talked about in another similar thread last year and there is a company selling specific patterns for the bottom of boards? south african maybe? Fish rely heavily on particular pattern recognition for many different behaviour cues. It if it really does work then it could be related to Orcas…. or it could be something entirely different…?

tell you what though, if I find myself in WA with pumping waves then you'll still only see me out there if I have a zebra pattern on my board, rotten shark juice all over my wettie and a mini waterproof stereo taped to my leg screaming orca attack songs…

The more interesting question in all of this is why are GW's attacking humans more frequently in WA than ever before. I really don't think it can be explained by the 'more surfers in the water' argument. It would be happening everywhere if that was the case. Something has changed over there in the last 5-7 years.

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simba Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:13am

Yeah Grug where on the same wave length here cause im wondering if its a terratorial thing or a big old shark doing its yearly rounds thats done it before cause gws are breeding up eveywhere not just wa.Talking to a diver the other day who saw a 4 meter one in 10ft water at station creek nth coffs and says hes had 6 encounters over the last few years around the islands.Years ago it was rare to hear about sightings but thats all changed.As for the stripe theory they base it on pilot fish which are the little fish that swim around sharks and sea snakes ,lion fish,blue ringed octopus etc which show very visible stripes to advertise do not eat me,im poison.

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Craig Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 7:20am

southey wrote: thats fine mothy , but looking like a Zebra . you would probably be taken down by a lion before you the left land . either that or schools kids would walk all over ya . :)

Classic!

Not sure about the black and white stripes Moth, someone should through a sprayed board off in the Neptunes before baiting and see how it goes.