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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Swimmer torn to pieces in tiger shark feeding frenzy off Australian 'paradise island'

By Richard Shears

Fatal attack: A tiger shark, like the ones which attacked an killed an Australian swimmer off Fantome Island, Queensland

A holidaymaker has been torn apart in a feeding frenzy by a shoal of tiger sharks off a 'paradise island' in Australia.

The Melbourne man, known to his friends as Rooster, had set out with three others to retrieve a small boat that had broken free of its anchor off Fantome Island, lying 40 miles north east of the Queensland city of Townsville.

He failed to return from the evening swim to pick up the boat and his friends found his body the following morning.

Allan Jefferson, of Queensland's Emergency Management authority, said: 'Four of them went swimming out to the boat, three of them made it and the fourth one never got there.

'The person has gone into the water to retrieve the boat last night and has not returned.'

The builder, who has not yet been named, was taking a break with a group of friends when they decided to retrieve the small boat, the Townsville Bulletin reported.

Lynndel Prior, a resident on a nearby island, was one of the last people to see 'Rooster' alive when he stopped by to visit her family at the weekend.

She and her partner had formed a close bond with Rooster, adding: 'He and my partner Anthony both hit it off straight away and they became really close mates. So this news has obviously hit us pretty hard.

'It's hard to imagine how a day that started out so great could end up so tragic.'

Fantome Island is a haven for fishermen and campers.
The man leaves behind a wife and stepson.

The tiger shark can grow to a length of more than five metres. It gets its name from the dark stripes down its body, which fade as the shark gets older.

The adult sharks are usually solitary, night-time hunters, which suggests that the ones involved in the Fantome Island attack were younger sharks in a group.

The tiger shark is considered to be a near threatened species due to excessive fishing. It is second only to the great white shark for the number of recorded attacks on humans.



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