SYDNEY • A woman was fatally mauled by a huge shark - described by witnesses as larger than their boat - near the western Australian city of Perth yesterday.
The attack on the woman off the northern Perth suburb of Mindarie comes just two days after a surfer died after having his leg bitten off by a shark along the same coastline.
Western Australia state police said the woman - reported to be a 60-year-old diver - had "significant injuries that are consistent with a shark attack".
Police Inspector Danny Mulligan said three fishermen who tried to help the woman and her partner described the shark as being longer than their 5.3m boat.
He said the woman's diving partner felt "something go past him" when he was in the water.
"When he surfaced he saw a commotion in the water and then another boat arrived to pull him out of the water, and then it was noticed that the woman had suffered some severe and fatal injuries," Insp Mulligan said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
TWO DEATHS IN A WEEK
Given the nature of the injuries and the location of the incident, it is likely that a large white shark greater than 3m in size is responsible.
POLICE INSPECTOR DANNY MULLIGAN
"Given the nature of the injuries and the location of the incident, it is likely that a large white shark greater than 3m in size is responsible," the state's Department of Fisheries said it a statement.
The department added that it had deployed "capture gear" - reported to be drum lines - to "fish for the shark" after the attack, which happened 1km offshore.
Local beaches were closed after the incident.
The suspected attack came two days after Mr Ben Gerring - a surfer who lost a leg in a mauling off Falcon Beach some 115km south of Mindarie last Tuesday - died in hospital.