AS THE surfing world commended local champion Mick Fanning for getting back into the water on Saturday morning, a Tasmanian woman was watching in horror as her father was fatally attacked by a shark.
Fanning made international headlines this week after fighting off a shark during the final of a world surfing tour event at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
There was speculation the Tweed Heads local may not return to competition. But he posted a photo of himself on social media yesterday, standing with his board, ready to enter the water, along with the caption: “First surf back. Feels so good.”.
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He couldn’t know, at almost the same time, a recreational scallop diver was being mauled by what is believed to be a great white shark off Tasmania’s east coast.
The ABC reports, the man, in his late 40s, and his daughter were diving from their small aluminium dinghy about 8am when the attack happened.
“My understanding is the daughter returned to the boat and the father returned to get some more scallops,” Inspector David Wiss from Tasmania Police said.
“He did not return to the surface.”
“His daughter became worried and went down and checked on her father.”
The young woman in her 20s “saw a very large shark and she saw her father being attacked by the shark”.
Boat owners are now being warned to stay clear of the area and the woman is being offered counselling.
As for Fanning, he may have felt safe in the knowledge local beaches are protected by shark nets…