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Woman killed in Tathra this morning

Jew Stalker

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This morning I was at a usual fishing haunt (Tathra wharf) when a pack of swimmers casually swam over to the wharf from the beach as they do every morning. I didn't think anything of it as I have seen them do it many times so I continued fishing. Apparently a woman who was with the group swam about half way this morning when she decided to turn back and separated herself from the group. The swimmers reached the wharf and were on their swim back when they noticed a large shark near them. They grouped together and the shark left them alone. They quickly enquired about their friend once back at the SLSC on the beach but she wasn't seen since leaving. A person who was on the rocks at the time told police that he had seen a shark mauling something in the water.

I did not see anything out there due to having a fish and concentrating on what I was doing but it is apparent that the woman was attacked and killed by the shark. I didn't even know what happened until I started seeing police and other officials around and was told by someone else on the wharf.

According to reports some body parts had washed up on the beach as the tide was coming in at the time but shortly turned and the rest of her has yet to be found. I left the wharf at around 12.30 at which time there were all sorts of officials around. The westpac chopper was searching along with a police helicopter, a police patrol boat, maritime rescue boat from Merimbula along with a bunch of SLSC dinghy's and divers. The search has now been cancelled due to adverse weather but will resume tomorrow morning.

My sympathies go out to her husband who was also swimming with the group and to her family and friends.

Tathra is a small community where everyone knows everyone so I am sure many folk will be affected by this attack.

This is the first fatal shark attack in the area but to be honest I am surprised it has not happened sooner here. I frequently see sharks whilst fishing the wharf and there have been reports of a big great white hanging around the area. About a month ago a fellow who owns a restaurant in Merimbula was fishing off long point in Merimbula and had a 4-5 metre great white swimming around his boat for around 20 minutes. I would not be surprised if it is the same shark as they are quite territorial and Tathra is only a small swim from Merimbula for such a fish.

I can only hope that the lady involved did not suffer too long. It would be a horrible ending to ones existence. May she rest in peace.


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Musn't be too great for you either, Luc. To be so near and realise there was nothing you could have done doesn't lessen the feeling of helplessness and the feeling that perhaps they may have been something you could have done. Don't beat yourself up if that's the way you feel.

The sea, as you no doubt realise as a salt water fisho, is a hostile environment to us humans. Entering the water for any reason carries an element of risk. The poor woman had safely negotiated that swim for 14 years, so the sense of danger would have been muted somewhat. Perhaps that's why she headed back on her own. That's just human nature. It doesn't reduce the enormity of the tragedy for her family and friends, but it is a reminder to the rest of us to stay vigilant at all times on our beautiful coastlines.

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I am fine Nursie, I didn't even know it happened until well after the fact when I started seeing the rescue squads around and was told by someone who came to the wharf.

It is however the main reason why I don't really go into the ocean. There are so many things in there that don't want us in there. I have Seen many sharks, I came across a blue ringed octopus whilst prawning in the lake, Portuguese man of wars are constantly washed up on the beaches and that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ocean. We just don't belong there and those who venture in do so at their own peril. It is just a sad fact as much as we may like to dismiss the the danger within a country such as ours with thousands of miles of coastline. We can't keep people out of the water but surely all must be aware of the dangers which lurk in the sea and accept responsibility for our actions.

This however does not take away the tragic loss of the poor woman and those who loved and knew her. I hope they all find peace in their hearts and minds.

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I am a little surprised this hasn't happened at Tathra before. One of the places in Australia where the continental shelf comes closest to the mainland and the amount of Sharks that come into that area is stunning.

Spent most of my junior fishing life at Tathra and I remember the Sharks being caught by the Shark Fisho's off the wharf. Caught some big Bronze Whalers chasing Jewfish off the beach (well, hooked anyway!) and some massive Mako's would grab Sand Flathead as they come up when we drifted the offshore Flattie grounds.

It's a tragedy that it happened. Tathra is a magic place and a great community.


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There seems to be no doubt that Shark attacks are increasing.

All of which means that people have to become better aware of the possibility of an attack and not tempt fate by swimming at dusk or way out.

At Mollymook last weekend we were sitting watching the ocean at dusk when two woman came down and went for a swim in water that was definitely deep enough for sharks. They did not come out of the water until dark.

And what about organised ocean swims like the Shark Island classic where swimmers swim from Cronulla Beach to Shark Island and back. It wasn't originally named Shark island for nothing! All that trashing off the water must seem like a school of fish to any sharks in the vicinity.

The Tathra attack, like all of them is very sad but a warning to all who venture in the water. Sincere condolences to all who knew her.


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