26 Jul 2015

Shark kills diver in front of daughter

7:35 am on 26 July 2015

A recreational scallop diver was killed in front of his daughter on Saturday by what is understood to be a great white shark off Tasmania's east coast.

The attack happened between Lachlan Island and Maria Island near the coastal town of Triabunna.

Inspector David Wiss from Tasmania Police said the man, in his late 40s, and his daughter were diving from their small aluminium dinghy about 8:00am when the attack happened.

"My understanding is the daughter returned to the boat and the father returned to get some more scallops," he 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".

John Hammond from the Scallop Fishermen's Association of Tasmania said he was shocked by the news.

"[It's an] absolute tragedy for the family. Bloody terrible," he said.

"From what I understand his daughter was swimming with him so it would just be horrendous for [her]."

Mr Hammond said there were a number of other divers in the water.

"[The diver was] in the shallow water there, it just struck out of the blue, and bang," he said.

The boat has now been returned to the wharf in Triabunna.

Recreational diver Simon Cornelius was in the same area only a short time before the attack.

"It's a bit sickening," he said.

"You've just been in the area and it could have been you.

"I won't be going back in a hurry that's for sure."

The last fatal shark attack in Tasmania occurred 22 years ago near Tenth Island off the state's north coast.