Scuba diver attacked by what is believed to be a great white shark
A SHARK attacked and killed a scuba diver yesterday as his three horrified friends watched on, unable to save him.
All that remained was the man's oxygen cylinder and a buoyancy vest, which were retrieved by police scouring the waters off Glenelg Beach in Adelaide.
The diver was in the water with another man about 2km offshore when the shark attacked.
Two other men were on their boat and pulled one of the divers out of the water as their other friend fought to resurface. Police said the shark took the other diver while he was underwater.
"It was the one that was still underwater, he was taken," Acting Superintendent Jim Jeffery said.
"One of the divers was pulled back on to the boat as the other one was taken."
It was the second fatal attack in the breeding ground of the white pointer in less than a year.
"We are making every attempt we can to locate the person. The indications to us, though, are that it will be very doubtful that we will find the person alive," Supt Jeffery said.
Glenelg beach is 1km from West Beach, where 18-year-old Nick Peterson was devoured by a monster 6m great white in December.
Mr Peterson was being towed behind a boat on a day out with friends when the massive shark struck.
Coastguards tracked the man-eating shark the following day but, despite having permission to shoot to kill, it was never destroyed.
The same shark was believed to have stalked Adelaide beachgoers for at least three weeks before last summer's attack.
It was not known whether the same shark was behind the latest attack.
Expert Andrew Fox said yesterday the predator was almost certainly a great white.
"As far as determining the species of shark it's very likely that, other than a bronze whaler shark, the great white shark is really the only large predatory shark that's actually capable of taking a diver," he said.
But Mr Fox said it was unlikely that the shark was the same one responsible for last year's attack.
"There's always speculation after any shark attack around the world of a rogue shark, or a shark gone bad, a shark that likes the taste of humans," he said.
"But there's never been any evidence that this has ever occurred."
The cold waters off South Australia are a favourite hunting ground of the feared great white shark, which has been blamed for several fatal attacks in recent years.
A search involving water police and the South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron was called off last night and will resume today.
Police have ordered other recreational boat users out of the water in the vicinity of the attack.