Deckhand killed in shark attack

PERTH - A deckhand on a luxury charter boat was killed by a shark when he went snorkelling with tourists off the West Australian coast yesterday.

The 26-year-old was taken by the 6m shark while snorkelling with the tourists off the Abrolhos Islands group about 2pm local time, police said.

He was killed instantly and his body was still to be recovered.

A police spokesman said the charter vessel, the Matrix, was on its maiden voyage from Perth to the Kimberley when the tragedy happened.

It was moored at Wreck Point, in the southeast corner of Pelseant Island, which is part of the Abrolhos Islands group, 60km from the port of Geraldton.

"A 26-year-old deckhand was in the sea snorkelling with passengers of the vessel when he was seen to be taken by a large shark described as being approximately 6m in length," the spokesman said.

"It would appear that he died instantly; his body has not been recovered."

Authorities were alerted by the boat's skipper and police and department of fisheries offices were travelling to the scene to investigate the attack and try to recover the body.

The spokesman said it was not clear how many passengers and crew were travelling on the boat but no one else was attacked or injured.

- AAP

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