An eighteen year-old from the Australian town of Mossman in Northern Queensland yesterday fell victim to a fatal shark attack on the Great Barrier Reef.
Teenager Daniel Smith was fishing off Port Douglas with a group of four friends. The attack occurred around 11.30 AM near Rudder Reef.
A police spokesman reported that Daniel was swimming near his friend’s private boat at the time of the attack. His friends, who had witnessed the attack, alerted the emergency services and performed CPR with the aid of a defibrillator on board the boat, but he was pronounced dead when they arrived at Port Douglas two hours later.
The boy sustained wounds to his upper-thigh, groin and upper-arm, and is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest soon after being attacked, probably as a result of blood loss. An air ambulance was not available to make it to the scene, but the extent of Daniel’s injuries was such that the use of a helicopter would probably not have averted the tragic outcome, according to Greg Thiedecke of the Queensland Ambulance Service.
The kind of shark involved in the attack has not been identified, and a spokeswoman for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said there were no plans to identify and locate the shark. Bull sharks and tiger sharks are known to frequent the area, and are considered by marine biologists the most likely culprits, say Surfline.
This is the fourth fatal shark attack in Australia this year, and the first in this particlar part of Queensland since spear-fisherman Mark Thompson was attacked by a bull shark at nearby Opal Reef almost exactly ten years ago, on 11th December 2004.
The last fatality in Australia came in September, when expat Englishman Paul Wilcox succumbed to wounds inflicted by a shark at Byron Bay, New South Wales.