Australian Authorities Search for Diver After Great White Shark Attack

GANSBAAI, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08: A Great White Shark swims in Shark Alley near Dyer Island on July 8, 2010 in Gansbaai, South Africa. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ryan Pierse/Getty

Australian maritime authorities are searching for the body of a man onlookers say was attacked and killed by a great white shark while he was diving off the coast of Western Australia at the weekend.

Gary Johnson had just entered the sea close to Cull Island near West Beach in the Shire of Esperance on Sunday when the incident unfolded, according to ABC News.

Senior Sergeant Tarasinski, the officer-in-charge of Esperance Police Station, said the family had come to terms with the possibility that Johnson’s body may never be found.

His scuba tank and dive vest were recovered from the sea on Monday.

“They have, but obviously we make every attempt possible to be able to find him and bring them that closure,” he said.

A spokesman for the WA Fisheries Minister, Peter Tinley, said police had advised him Gary Johnson was wearing a shark shield but it was not switched on at the time of the great white shark attack.

Shark shields are a personal device, such as a wristband, that emit electrical currents designed to scare away the animals.

In Western Australia, a limited number are subsidised by the State Government — a policy announced following a fatal shark attack that claimed the life of teenager Laeticia Brouwer in the same area in 2017.

The Esperance area is notorious for shark attacks.

In October 2014, surfer Sean Pollard lost his left arm and right hand after he was mauled by two white sharks at Kelp Beds.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.