Monday, 5 September 2011

The Bunker Bay shark attack is a tragic case of wrong time, wrong place

Bunker Bay, WA, where a body surfer was mauled to death by a shark
Readers of this blog know I'm an advocate for sharks and follow the mantra "don't swim in the surf at dawn or dusk" because that's when these primordial animals are usually out hunting for something tasty to eat.

Sadly, there are exceptions to the rule. In Western Australia, what is thought to have been a great white shark yesterday "savaged" and killed a body surfer. The attack occurred at midday.

The 21-year-old was catching waves at popular surf spot Boneyards Break, Bunker Bay.
Here's part of the story published at (WT) that might help explain this tragedy:

'The attack occurred in an area popular with surfers and anglers and close to a seal colony, to the west of Cape Naturaliste, a noted whale-watching spot about three hours' drive south of Perth.

"You could have described it as perfect shark conditions . . . dark and gloomy water, overcast skies, light rain falling. There was whale action earlier in the morning in the bay, and there were seals about," Sergeant Craig Anderson from the Dunsborough police said.'

The death of this young bloke appears to be a case of mistaken identity. Is it a seal? Let's take a bite and see. 
In 2009, Perth Now reported that there had been 18 shark attacks in WA since 1997, four of them fatal.

The story in WT ends with: 'Yesterday's attack is the third fatal shark mauling in Australia in just over 12 months, and the second in WA's south-west.

The attack happened about an hour’s drive from Gracetown, where 31-year-old Nicholas Edwards was killed by a shark on August 17 last year.

In February, an abalone diver was taken by two sharks, believed to be great whites, at Coffin Bay, South Australia.'

I feel it's important to remember here that it's not the shark's fault. It was cruising its territory doing what predatory animals do - looking for the next meal. Or it may have just been curious. The awful outcome is that someone has died as a result. 

PS: Photo of Bunker Bay from WT

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