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Deadly shark frenzy stuns beach haven
Herald Sun ^ | 9 January 2006 | Jade Bilowol

Posted on 01/08/2006 3:32:31 PM PST by Aussie Dasher

A WOMAN desperately screamed for help as she was torn apart by a pack of sharks – but onlookers thought she was joking.

Up to three sharks struck as Sarah Kate Whiley, 21, was swimming with friends at Amity Point, off Queensland's North Stradbroke Island, about 5.30pm on Saturday. Within seconds they had torn off her arms and mauled her torso and legs.

Two fishermen were the first to react, dragging her out of the water on to the beach.

Frantic bystanders scrambled for towels to stem the bleeding before a helicopter flew Ms Whiley to a Brisbane hospital, where she died of shock and blood loss.

The horror of the pack attack has stunned the carefree holiday haven just east of Brisbane.

Beaches were closed as police and fishermen searched unsuccessfully off the Moreton Bay island for the sharks, which attacked about 15m from shore.

Inspector Peter Harding said yesterday all beaches within 2km east and west of the spot -- known as Rainbow Channel -- had been closed.

It was the first attack at a beach protected by Queensland's Shark Safety Program since it began 44 years ago, said Acting Premier Anna Bligh.

Ms Bligh ordered an urgent investigation into the program's effectiveness.

The safety features include nets or drumlines -- large baited hooks anchored to the seabed -- off 84 beaches, including Amity.

Insp Harding said Ms Whiley had been swimming with three friends from a church group when she was attacked.

She had been dragged under the water and, after about five or six seconds, came out screaming "shark".

"People at the time thought she was only joking . . . until they saw the blood," he said.

Insp Harding said the extent of Ms Whiley's injuries indicated it was a pack of bull sharks, noted for their aggression at this time of year.

"She was bleeding quite heavily -- I'm of the opinion . . . there was more than one shark involved -- there could have been up to three," he said.

Police divers and fishermen were trying to hunt down the sharks to "retrieve what we can".

"If we found them I suppose we would try to retrieve them and see if they have any body parts," Insp Harding said. "Realistically it's virtually impossible."

Some locals wouldn't go near Rainbow Channel, which he described as one of the deepest in Moreton Bay.

"After Friday night's storm, the water was very murky and dirty," Insp Harding said.

"In fact, so much so, one of the locals wouldn't go in and dive."

Despite earlier reports, Insp Harding said there was no dog with Ms Whiley at the time of the attack, and that she was in water "anything from chest deep to 30ft".

Queensland Police and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries will investigate.

Ms Bligh said the death proved the Shark Safety Program was not an impenetrable barrier between bathers and sharks.

"Amity Point has shark drumlines -- they've had them since 1997 -- so it is very serious that there has been a fatality at a swimming beach that has these measures in place," Ms Bligh said.

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin said the attack happened about 200m south of the Amity Point drumlines.

The drumlines had been operating in the area and were checked on Saturday morning, Mr Mulherin said.

Results from an investigation by police and the department would need to be delivered before measures, such as sonar technology, were explored, he said.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: attack; australia; deadly; queensland; sharkattack; sharks

1 posted on 01/08/2006 3:32:33 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
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To: Aussie Dasher

Sharks at Amity Beach? Hmmm. Where did Jaws take place?


2 posted on 01/08/2006 3:33:43 PM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: BipolarBob

You got it in one! I was wondering if FReepers would be awake to that...


3 posted on 01/08/2006 3:34:46 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: Aussie Dasher

Might not these drumlines actually draw sharks to the area?


4 posted on 01/08/2006 3:34:58 PM PST by Al Simmons ('A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user' - Theodore Roosevelt)
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To: Aussie Dasher

Drum lines? Why don't they just make the bathers wear
chumbelts?


5 posted on 01/08/2006 3:35:51 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Aussie Dasher

If you're being attacked by a shark and you have a chance to say anything, scream like bloody murder. Anything less might be mistaken as a joke.


6 posted on 01/08/2006 3:37:22 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Aussie Dasher

Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies..


7 posted on 01/08/2006 3:38:45 PM PST by chet_in_ny
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To: chet_in_ny

Bull sharks: highest testosterone count in the animal kingdom and a mouth full of teeth. Not a happy combination.


8 posted on 01/08/2006 3:42:21 PM PST by CheyennePress
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To: Aussie Dasher

Nobody actually saw three sharks attack, it's just an opinion. If the water was murky, I wonder if they mistook the swimmer for food?


9 posted on 01/08/2006 3:43:52 PM PST by Trust but Verify (( ))
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To: Aussie Dasher

Welcome to the food chain.


10 posted on 01/08/2006 3:44:25 PM PST by Dawggie
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To: coconutt2000
[If you're being attacked by a shark and you have a chance to say anything, scream like bloody murder. Anything less might be mistaken as a joke.]

Will try and remember that. . . :^0

. . .but your warning would make good signage. . .for sure.

11 posted on 01/08/2006 3:45:40 PM PST by cricket (No Freedom - No Peace)
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To: BipolarBob
Where did Jaws take place?

. . .and the Amityville horror. . .

. . .but what's in a name?

12 posted on 01/08/2006 3:47:31 PM PST by cricket (No Freedom - No Peace)
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To: Aussie Dasher

This poor young woman. What a very horrible death. Prayers for her and her family.


13 posted on 01/08/2006 3:47:32 PM PST by asp1
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To: BipolarBob

Thanks for the post...I've crossed that off my vacation list...


14 posted on 01/08/2006 3:48:45 PM PST by There You Go Again
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To: tet68
Why don't they just make the bathers wear chumbelts?

Why do people swim at shark 'dinnertime'?

15 posted on 01/08/2006 3:49:08 PM PST by cricket (No Freedom - No Peace)
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To: BipolarBob

that is freaky! A shark attack where Jaws took place, talk about scary!


16 posted on 01/08/2006 3:49:51 PM PST by Halls (Dallas County, Texas, but my heart is in East Texas!)
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To: There You Go Again

Thank you for thanking me, but Aussie Dasher done the honors.


17 posted on 01/08/2006 3:50:51 PM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: BipolarBob; Halls

Same name. Different location.

The original Jaws was set in the US. This tragedy occurred in Australia.


18 posted on 01/08/2006 3:53:17 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: shaggy eel

ping


19 posted on 01/08/2006 3:54:12 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: BipolarBob

Matawan, NJ


20 posted on 01/08/2006 3:56:31 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: BipolarBob

Bingo. That's where I broke off to post a reply...


21 posted on 01/08/2006 3:59:38 PM PST by null and void (The lesson of the holocaust: if someone says they are going to kill you, pay attention.)
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To: Aussie Dasher

Ah, i see. But still sad.


22 posted on 01/08/2006 3:59:58 PM PST by Halls (Dallas County, Texas, but my heart is in East Texas!)
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To: Aussie Dasher

She was attacked by the dreaded Beeber shark


23 posted on 01/08/2006 4:20:07 PM PST by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: Aussie Dasher
Can anyone argue against hunting this species to extinction?
24 posted on 01/08/2006 4:43:17 PM PST by 10mm
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To: Aussie Dasher

Mother Nature is a b^%tch. Certainly not the cuddly, kind 'Gaia' of greenies' fantasies. Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten.


25 posted on 01/08/2006 5:15:30 PM PST by Calico Cat
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To: coconutt2000


I can't imagine people not screaming frantically if being attacked.


26 posted on 01/08/2006 5:36:50 PM PST by SouthernFreebird
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To: chet_in_ny

"I had me a drink about an hour ago and its gone right to my head!"


27 posted on 01/08/2006 5:44:03 PM PST by bethelgrad (for God, country, the Marine Corps, and now the Navy Chaplain Corps OOH RAH!)
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To: 10mm

Sharks are part of the food chain. They eat the seals and sea lions which eat the salmon. Kill all the sharks, watch the seal population explode and the fish populations plummet. How about this: how about staying out of shark-infested waters? Duh.


28 posted on 01/08/2006 5:56:43 PM PST by Calico Cat
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To: chet_in_ny
"Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies"
29 posted on 01/08/2006 6:07:38 PM PST by Lancer_N3502A
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To: al baby
attacked by the dreaded Beeber shark

But they are the easiest to protect against. All you have to do is stune them....

30 posted on 01/08/2006 6:14:42 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (Don't take life too seriously... it's not permanent.)
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To: Aussie Dasher

"We're going to need a bigger boat."


31 posted on 01/08/2006 6:33:08 PM PST by manwiththehands (Good news for America = bad news for Democrats)
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To: Halls
A shark attack where Jaws took place, talk about scary!

The "Amity Island" in Jaws was a fictional resort in New England (probably in Mass). The Amity beach in this story is in Australia.

32 posted on 01/08/2006 6:38:52 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: 10mm
Can anyone argue against hunting this species to extinction?

Yes.

33 posted on 01/08/2006 6:50:09 PM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror.)
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To: Aussie Dasher

I wonder if by any chance this woman was on her period? I know of 2 cases where sharks attacked women that were. In one of the cases the shark completely ignored one of the women, who actually felt the shark bump against her as it headed straight for her friend nearby.


34 posted on 01/08/2006 7:31:26 PM PST by gop_gene
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To: gop_gene

Good question...but I ain't gunna ask it!


35 posted on 01/08/2006 7:34:15 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: 10mm
Can anyone argue against hunting this species to extinction?

I can. This species exists, and continues to exist, because it is an important part of the cycle of life.

Flies are nasty. But our world would not be the same without them. The ocean would not be the same without sharks.

What happens if you don't have algae eaters in your aquarium and you don't clean it by hand?

36 posted on 01/09/2006 12:42:45 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: Mr. Mojo

I would bet the author based the location in his story on the Australian location.


37 posted on 01/09/2006 12:44:20 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: 10mm
Can anyone argue against hunting this species to extinction?

Uh, yes.

In this country we hunted top predators to extinction and took over that role ourselves.

Can't do the same in the oceans, so we need top predators for healthy sea life.

Swimming in the ocean is far less dangerous than the drive to get to the beach.

38 posted on 01/09/2006 12:46:49 PM PST by dirtboy (My new years resolution is to quit using taglines...)
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To: Aussie Dasher
What a tragic story.

Still, I've got to say it because it hasn't been posted yet, even if it did happen in your neck of the woods:

It's Bush's fault.

39 posted on 01/09/2006 12:48:18 PM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 2500 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: Night Hides Not

Of course. I should've known...


40 posted on 01/09/2006 2:03:15 PM PST by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: dirtboy
In this country we hunted top predators to extinction and took over that role ourselves.

There's a couple out there left...


41 posted on 01/09/2006 2:07:20 PM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 3000 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: Calpernia

,,, shark attacks, crooked cops and high humidity... it has to be Queensland. Put your money on Sydney and Melbourne - great towns!


42 posted on 01/11/2006 1:38:53 AM PST by shaggy eel
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To: shaggy eel
We all have our Queenslands. Hence is why it is a WOT and not a declaration on a country.
43 posted on 01/11/2006 5:17:53 AM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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