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Australia Records 2 Fatal Shark Attacks

September 26, 2000|From Reuters

CANBERRA, Australia — A shark killed a surfer off South Australia on Monday in the second fatal attack near the remote coastline in two days, police said.

Police spokeswoman Amanda Francis said a 17-year-old local youth was attacked by a shark while surfing about 50 yards off Black Point, three miles north of Elliston, at 12:50 p.m.

Two surfers witnessed the attack but could not give details of the shark, seeing only its tail.

The police have not released the name of the victim.

"So far, we have only found bits of the surfboard, and we have boats out on the water and are searching the beach for his body," Francis said.

The attack came a day after a 25-year-old New Zealand surfer on his honeymoon was killed by a great white shark off remote Cactus Beach, 372 miles northwest of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia state, and about 124 miles northwest of Elliston. The beach, known as an area frequented by sharks, is nicknamed Shark Restaurant by locals.

Shark experts said this was the first time in 23 years that two fatal attacks occurred in the same state in one year. On average, one person a year is killed by sharks in Australia, said John West of the Australian Shark Attack File.

"But I don't think it will be the same shark," West said. "The attacks were too far apart."

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