It’s unusual for a scuba diver to be attacked by a shark, but an Australian man was killed by what was believed to be a great white off Western Australia’s southern coast on 5 January.
Experienced sports diver Gary Johnson had only just entered the water in the early afternoon. He and his wife Karen Milligan were out on their boat near Cull Island, a diving location about four miles off their home town of Esperance, south of Perth.
Milligan, who witnessed the attack from the boat, put out a Mayday call and was later treated for shock at Esperance Hospital. A local skipper who responded reported seeing no more than Johnson’s fins and a sleeve from his suit in the water.
Water Police divers later scoured the area with the help of a shark cage and DPVs, supported by Marine Rescue WA volunteers and a Fisheries patrol vessel crew. Although hindered by poor sea conditions, they managed to find and retrieve Johnson’s BC and tank.