A diver has been killed by a shark that eyewitnesses have described as being at least five-and-a-half metres long in the second fatal attack to hit Australia in less than a week.
WA Police’s Inspector Danny Mulligan revealed on Sunday afternoon that the 60-year-old woman, who was mauled late on Sunday morning, had been with a male diver partner between One and Three-Mile Reefs.
The 43-year-old man said he thought he felt something in the water and surfaced, where he found the woman with severe injuries – apparently as the result of a shark attack.
Three men in another boat arrived to assist and said they saw the shark and positioned the boat between the creature and the man, enabling him to lift the woman onto the boat the pair were using.
“The boat the three fishermen were on was five-and-a-half metres long and they said the shark was longer than their boat,” said the Inspector.
Female great whites have been known to grow to bigger than six metres.
The woman’s death came just two days after Mandurah surfer Ben Gerring succumbed to injuries he sustained in a shark attack last week.
St John Ambulance personnel attended the Mindarie scene but found the woman to be dead after she had been lifted onto a boat ramp.
The diver’s death takes the number of shark attack deaths in WA to 15 since 2000.
Surf Life Saving WA had tweeted about a shark spotted offshore at Mindarie only 20 minutes before the woman was apparently attacked.
Beaches in Mindarie have now been closed.