Wife of a local diver has been treated for shock after she witnessed her husband taken by a shark off the coast at Esperance, south-east of Perth at about 1.30pm on Sunday.
Esperance local Gary Johnson was killed in a suspected great white shark attack while diving with wife Karen Milligan near Cull Island, about 7km from Esperance. Mr Johnson was only in the water for around 3 minutes when the shark attacked.
During the attack, Mrs Milligan was in their boat less than 4 metres away, frantically calling the Police for help on the radio. Unfortunately, by the time the Police or any other boats arrived, the only sign of the shark or Mr Johnson was part of his wetsuit and his flippers. Ms Milligan was then taken ashore by rescue boat, where she was immediately treated for shock by ambulance crews.
His body has not yet been recovered, so Marine Rescue volunteers and Police continue to search for Mr Johnson’s body today, while his wife is being treated in hospital for shock.
Councillor Shelley Payne from the Shire of Esperance said it was imperative visitors and locals alike stay up to date with recent shark sightings on websites such as Sharksmart. People in the area have been urged to follow any local beach closures and take additional precautions, especially around the area of Cull Island.
Anyone in the area who sees a shark has been asked to call the Water Police immediately on 9442 8600 and report it.