Man attacked by shark off WA coast
Abalone diver Greg Pickering survives his second shark attack and is being treated for injuries to his torso and face.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2v69u 620 349 October 8, 2013
An abalone diver attacked by a shark off a remote part of Western Australia's southern coast has undergone a series of operations while the Department of Fisheries has conceded its kill order could see the wrong shark caught.
Greg Pickering, 55, was collecting the delicacy off Poison Creek at Cape Arid National Park, about 180 kilometres east of Esperance, when he was attacked by a suspected great white shark at about 10.30am on Tuesday.
He was rushed to Esperance Hospital for treatment for bite wounds, mainly to his torso, and injuries to his face.
Shark attack victim Greg Pickering. Photo: Supplied, Esperance Express
He was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital where he underwent several operations overnight.
On Wednesday morning Marcus Tromp from Southern Wild Abalone, the company Mr Pickering works for, told the Esperance Express the abalone diver was recovering from his injuries.
"This morning he was conscious and talking," he said.
Mr Tromp said Mr Pickering is very fit and healthy and has a deep love of the ocean.
"He lives in the ocean and has a great love for it and for the ocean life," he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries has set up traps in the area after director general Stuart Smith gave orders for the animal to be killed.
The department says the shark poses an imminent threat to campers to the area during school holidays.
But Mr Smith conceded it was possible the wrong shark could be caught.
"We probably won't know for sure unless there's evidence of DNA that we will be able to test," he told ABC radio on Wednesday.
Mr Smith admitted the DNA results would not come back until after the animal was killed.
But he added that the size of the animal would also help to determine if it was likely to be the shark that attacked Mr Pickering.
Mr Smith said the department's shark experts had informed him that the shark could have swum away from the area or it could remain lurking in the waters for some time.
It is the second time a kill order has been issued in WA.
On the previous occasion, two tiger sharks were caught and released after they were tagged, but the great white shark the department was looking for was not found, Mr Smith said.
A department spokeswoman said a decision on whether to continue with the kill action would be made on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Pickering has been an abalone diver for more than 40 years and was bitten in 2004 by a 1.5m bronze whaler while in waters near Cervantes, north of Perth, as he was trying to help a friend.
He put himself between his friend and the shark when it began attacking and was bitten on the leg.
The experienced spear fisherman had another close call in 2009, when the boat he was diving under in Ceduna in South Australia was capsized.
He and another deckhand were found by rescue crews in a life raft after about three hours.