Shark attack off Tasmania's East Coast

The Triabunna wharf on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Emily Baker

The Triabunna wharf on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Emily Baker

A man in his late 40s has died after being attacked by a shark off the state's East Coast on Saturday morning.

He and his daughter, both from Kingston, were diving for scallops between 7am and 8am in the vicinity of Maria and Lachlan islands, off the coast of Triabunna.

The water was about 12 metres deeps, and the area is a popular spot for amateur recreational scallop divers.

It has been described as a "very, very unusual" location for an attack.

The daughter, in her 20s, was above water while her father was diving, and when he did not resurface she became worried and dove underwater to check on him.

She saw her father being attacked by a large shark.

She set off a flare to alert nearby vessels, and also made a phone call.

Fishers on nearby boats pulled the man to the surface using his air hose, but he was already fatally injured.

It is not known what breed of shark made the attack, but sightings of a 15-foot white pointer in the East Coast area have been reported recently.

Police are already begun a coronial inquest under the guidance of the coroner.

Critical incident stress experts are helping the man's family through this time.

Police have confirmed a man aged in his 40s from the Kingston area was scallop diving with his daughter when he was attacked by a shark near Maria Island on Saturday morning.

Police have also confirmed the man's daughter witnessed the incident and the duo were recreational divers.

His daughter set off a flare, which saw several boats make their way to the area.

Police said they were not aware of a shark warning, despite reported sightings.

The death will be now the subject of a coronial inquest.


Tasmania Police are responding to a report of a shark attack at Lachlan Point off Maria Island.

The attack has resulted in the death of a male recreational scallop diver.

Witnesses say his daughter was under water with him when the attack occurred.

Police advise boat owners and divers to refrain from attending the area in question.

Maria Island senior ranger Peter Lingard said on Saturday morning that there were reported sightings of a 15 foot white pointer in the area on Friday.

He said he had heard the reported sighting over shortwave radio channel 16.

The boat that the deceased diver is believed to have been using. Picture: Neil Richardson

The boat that the deceased diver is believed to have been using. Picture: Neil Richardson

Mr Lingard said there were occasional shark visits to the area, but they weren't a regular thing. 

Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor Michael Kent said the incident was "absolutely devastating".

"I feel for the family," Cr Kent said.

"It's a recreational area. The scallop season has been very good to professional and recreational fisherman and then we've got a disaster like like this.

"The whole community down here will be deeply in shock."

Council deputy mayor Cheryl Arnol said a lot of boats had since come into the Triabunna wharf.

''It's very quiet out there on the water,'' Cr Arnol said.

The scallop season opened on July 2, which is later than previous years.

Scallop Fishermen's Association of Tasmania President John Hammond said the attack was very unusual.

He said the area where it took place was popular among amateur divers.

"It is very uncommon to see sharks in this area," Mr Hammond said.

"It's shallow water, and the temperature is only about 11 to 12 degrees.

"Usually the only thing that will draw sharks into shallower water is chasing schools of fish, and we haven't seen any schools of feed fish around.

"There's just about no reports of sharks in that particular area.

"It's very, very unusual."