A British grandmother was killed off the coast of western Australia by a great white shark described as “bigger than their 18-foot boat.” Doreen Collyer, 60, was killed after the large great white mauled her while diving off the coast of Perth. The grandmother was with her dive partner, John, when the horrific attack took place, leaving the man rushing for help. An emergency call was made, in which John says his dive partner has been killed by a “huge great white” and requests immediate assistance.
The Daily Mail reports that a British grandmother was killed in a terrifying shark attack that has left her dive partner and rescuers in need of counseling. The attack was reportedly so severe that Doreen’s dive partner, John, and the three rescuers who assisted in removing Doreen from the water are all unable to speak about the incident due to extreme shock. Ron Harris, the leader of the rescue team who assisted in retrieving Doreen’s body from the water, says that the incident was the “most traumatic” he has ever seen in his 14 years of service.
The attack took place as Doreen Collyer was out diving with her dive partner, John. The pair had only been in the water for about 25 minutes when John says a large great white brushed against them in the water. As John quickly moved to the surface, he turned around to see that Doreen was being attacked. After getting back into the dive boat, John sent out an emergency call. A nearby fishing boat heard the call, in which they say John was requesting emergency help as his dive partner had been killed by a great white shark.
“He said words to the effect of: ‘Urgent, emergency. My dive partner has been killed by a huge great white shark.’ “
Though Doreen’s injuries were so severe that John knew she could not survive, he wanted to get her body out of the water. Therefore, the fishing boat created a barricade between the shark and Doreen and John bravely jumped back into the water and began bringing his dive partner back to the surface. Official reports indicate that John attempted to calm Doreen by speaking to her, despite realizing that she could not be saved. Before John could get Doreen back to the fishing boat, she passed away.
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) June 6, 2016
John had also phoned the Whitfords Volunteer Sea Rescue team for help. With a boat already in the area, the rescue team was able to make it to the scene of the attack quickly, but knew from the tower call that there was no saving the woman as her injuries were too severe.
“The understanding we had in the tower was that there was no saving her, there was no chance of survival due to the injuries she’d received.”
Meanwhile, Doreen’s husband, David, had no idea that his wife had been killed. David notes it wasn’t until he saw helicopters flying overhead as he drove to the boat docks to pick up Doreen from her diving trip that he knew something was wrong. David says that Doreen was an avid diver and was excited to get back in the water as it had been a couple weeks since she was able to dive due to weather.
Speaking fondly of his wife, David says she was a wonderful person who served as a nurse and teacher. He notes that she had always been very active and that the couple had only recently moved to Australia from Great Britain to be closer to their son and granddaughter, Daisy.
“Doreen loved nursing, she was a passionate nurse and she was a fantastic teacher. She was a beautiful, wonderful person and she was very good at her job. She was loved by everybody and was very caring and loving. She was full of life and very active. She touched a lot of lives through her teaching and through her time working on the wards.”
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