Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Abalone Diver Attacked by Great White in Western Australia

Abalone diver 
A 55-year-old abalone diver sustained shark bites to his torso and head earlier today in waters off the coast of Esperance in Western Australia.

The victim, Greg Pickering, is in serious but stable condition at Royal Perth Hospital.

Following the incident, the Department of Fisheries issued a 'catch and kill' order for the shark that attacked Mr. Pickering.

This is the second time Mr. Pickering has been attacked by a shark.  In 2004, he was bit twice in the calf by a 1.5 meter bronze whaler while spearfishing in WA.

For anyone who may have watched Dicovery Channel's Shark Week this year, they featured a story on the dangers of abalone diving in a segment called Great White Gauntlet:

"The coast of South Australia is a place like no other. It is home to a Great White feeding ground that is one of the most dangerous places in the world. Known in local legend as the Great White Gauntlet, this deadly stretch of waters holds a prize bounty for divers: a rare sea snail called the abalone which is worth thousands on the international market. Abalone diving can be both lucrative and dangerous because it happens in one of the most deadly shark feeding grounds in the world where the Great White sharks prowl. This special takes a closer look at the real-life dangers these divers encounter every day."
Photo credit

Man attacked by shark off Esperance - WA Today
WA diver stable after shark attack - 9 Neww
Man attacked by a shark 180kms east of Esperance survived 2004 attack - Herald Sun
Port Lincoln abalone diver Greg Pickering in Perth hospital after second shark attack in a decade - news.com.au
Shark attacks diver near Esperance - The West Australian
Tip of the hat to Dave Bohan for the headsup on this story.

EDIT 10/09/2013: Catch-and-kill order for shark which attacked abalone diver cancelled - ABC 7 News

EDIT 11/17/2013Video: Greg Pickering Discusses His Shark Attack in Extended Interview