How Doreen Collyer’s great white shark attack death underscores the clash between predator and man as the shark’s stake their claim.
Doreen Collyer a 60 year old British grandmother, wife and senior university nursing lecturer has died after being attacked by a great white shark no less than 16 feet long while diving off the Western Australian coast this weekend.
The midwife’s death came whilst the recent British emigre who’d relocated to Perth in search of a new life, was diving off Mindarie, 22 miles north of the capital.
While the woman’s 43 year old diving companion managed to get her back on the boat, between One and Three Mile reefs, Doreen Collyer died from her injuries.
Fishermen who’d rushed to help and who saw the killer shark said it was bigger than their 18-foot boat.
Collyer’s diving buddy John said about 25 minutes into the dive, he felt something brush past him.
It wasn’t when he surfaced, that he saw his friend, whom he described as a phenomenal diver had been badly attacked.
Officials later described the attacked woman’s injuries as being ‘apparent and severe’ and consistent with a shark attack.
Doreen’s regular diving partner told that they had dived by the reef where the attack took place, up to a dozen times.
At the time, the pair were searching for crayfish and had only been in the water about 25 times when John told of having felt the shark ‘brush past them’.
The shark has now been deemed an ‘imminent threat’ to public safety, so it can legally be killed, with the department’s director-general issuing an order to fish for the shark.
Collyer’s husband, David, who made the move to Australia with his wife, said in a statement: ‘Doreen was a beautiful person and everyone loved her. She was a devoted grandmother, mother and loving wife.’
At the time of the attack, Doreen Collyer’s husband had been driving to the beach to meet her and her diving companion, John, when he saw helicopters hovering overhead. It was only later that the husband was told why the helicopters had gathered ….
Prior to her death, Doreen Collyer was a known keen swimmer in the UK, who’d fallen in love with diving after moving abroad with her husband. She had an advanced open water diver’s certificate and used to dive up to four times a week in the summer.
Reiterated the husband: ‘She was a very experienced diver and she loved diving. She used to go out every week as much as she could. It was something she really enjoyed.’
Adding: ‘It was Doreen’s first time in weeks she had been out diving due to recent bad weather.’
The couple had moved to Australia five years ago to be closer to their son and grandchild. Of note, the couple had been due to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary later this year.
The fatal shark attack was the second in the region within a week, after surfer Ben Gerring was mauled by a great white off Mandurah and died in hospital on Friday night.