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Western Australia sees two fatal shark attacks in less than a week

Zebra shark

A woman has died at the scene after being attacked by a shark whilst diving at Mindarie Beach near Perth, Western Australia, earlier today. It is the second fatality this week after surfer Ben Gerring was mauled by a shark whilst surfing with friends at Falcon Beach on Tuesday.

The 60-year-old woman and her male companion were diving off their boat when the 43-year-old man said he thought there was something in the water. Having surfaced he found the woman to have sustained severe injuries. Three men in another boat came to their aid where they apparently saw the shark in the water and positioned their boat to allow the man and injured woman to climb aboard. Witnesses say the shark was larger than the divers 5.5 metre boat.

Earlier this week Mr. Gerring lost his right leg in the attack on Tuesday afternoon; his surfboard was also torn apart from what is believed to have been a great white.

A 4.2 metre shark was caught off the WA coast on Wednesday. It was believed to have been the shark that attacked Mr. Gerring, however this has not been confirmed. The shark was destroyed out at sea.

Since 2000 there have been 13 confirmed deaths from shark attacks in WA, however the unidentified woman could be the 14th. Shark attacks have risen within the last decade according to the Australian Shark Attack Files (ASAF); the past five years seeing on average 3 people each year die due to shark attacks, whilst the preceding 16 years saw an average of one fatality a year. With the growth of the Australian population, more people are entering into water sports such as surfing and diving.

-TN

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