Breaking News Today

Shark attack victim was ‘completely against’ culling

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The wife of a man killed by a great white shark in Western Australia says he was against culling the species.

The wife of a man killed by a great white shark in Western Australia says he was against culling the species.

Karen Milligan was next to her partner Gary Johnson in the water when the shark attacked about 1pm on Sunday near Cull Island, close to West Beach in Esperance.

After issuing a mayday alert to local boaties, Ms Mulligan was taken to Esperance Hospital to be treated for shock.

Her daughter, Hannah Milligan, read a statement to the media yesterday.

"He loved diving, he loved squash, he loved his work, he loved Esperance. But most of all, he loved his friends and family," she said.

"We were always aware of the risks, and often told each other that if one of us were attacked by a shark that would just be unlucky."

Ms Milligan said the couple was against culling sharks.

"We were completely against shark culling and I still am," the statement said.

"We have watched with dismay the reduction of fish stocks over the years.

"We believed that if fish stocks were better protected then the risk to people in the water would be reduced."

Ms Milligan described her husband as her rock, adding he was a gentle and strong man.

Senior Sargent Jutsin Tarasinski from WA Police said Ms Mulligan is "absolutely devastated and distraught".

"You can't even imagine what she's gone through," he said.

Mr Johnson was president of the Esperance Dive Club and worked for a local farming machinery retailer.

He wrote on social media in 2017 that he wore a shark protection device because it gave him peace of mind like a car seatbelt.

READ:  Has Beijing overplayed its hand in South China Sea disputes?

Police divers have recommenced their search for Mr Johnson's body, initially only searching the surface due to the danger of a further shark attack.

They have recovered his dive tank and vest but there is still no sign of his remains.

The WA government has ruled out immediately deploying SMART drumlines.

Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley told reporters shark shields were useful but not fail safe, saying they worked nine out of 10 times.

Mr Tinley said drumlines would have had limited use in helping to recover Mr Johnson's body. "In this particular case, we have divers in the water," he said.

"There is a recovery operation underway, there are police officers doing their duty and other officials, so to deploy drumlines now would actually be an exacerbating effect."

Mr Johnson's death the second shark fatality in Esperance in less than three years, following the death of 17-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer at Kelp Beds in April 2017.

Source: 9News

Share This
Finance Advice 2021