Shark kills triathlete swimmer in California

April 26th, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by admin  

Los Angeles, April 26 (DPA) A shark attacked and killed a swimmer in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego County, authorities said. The man, named as retired veterinarian Dave Martin, 66, was participating in a triathlete training swim at around 7 a.m. Friday when he was attacked, according to officials.

“It looks like the shark came up, bit him, and swam away,” Dismas Abelman, the Solana Beach deputy fire chief, said in a news conference. Martin probably died from blood loss even before he was pulled out of the water, Abelman said.

Martin appeared to have been bitten by a great white shark, between four and six metres long. The animal took a single bite that cut across both the swimmer’s thighs, shark expert Richard Rosenblatt said at a news conference. Rosenblatt speculated that the shark probably mistook the wet-suited swimmer for a seal.

“We think it’s mistaken identity,” Rosenblatt said. “The white shark hunting method is relatively close to the bottom and looking for silhouettes and then coming up to attack the seal. A human swimmer is not too unlike a seal.”

Rosenblatt said shark attacks are extremely rare in California with only 96 on record since 1926, seven of them fatal.

Swimmers were ordered out of the water in a 30-km area around the attack site and the county Sheriff’s Department sent up helicopters to scan the waters for the shark.

The incident occurred in the ocean some 25 km northwest of San Diego.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |