Shark Attack: Fisherman Killed In Jamaica

A 68-year-old spearfisherman has been killed by a shark while diving in waters off the coast of southern Jamaica.

George Facey was fishing with a group which encountered sharks off a remote island some three miles off the south coast.

The veteran spearfisherman became separated from the group when he was attacked, by tiger shark reportedly 4.8m-long (16ft).

Police said he was bitten several times. Those with him told of how they managed to retrieve his body from the water as the shark circled, and return to shore.

Anthony Daley, who has been fishing for 10 years, told The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper that the shark was the largest he had ever seen.

Friends of the victim spoke of their shock and paid tribute to the spearfisherman.

Compton Campbell, also a local fisherman, said: "It's awful and a big shock. That shark shredded him up. I knew him very well and I can tell you that he was a very good man, a good Christian."

Spearfishing makes use of elastic-powered or compressed gas pneumatic-powered spearguns to skewer the hunted fish.

Speared fish, if they are not killed outright, will wriggle on the spear and will also bleed into the water - both of which can attract sharks.

Brandon Hay, of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, said striped, blunt-nosed tiger sharks are sometimes spotted in the waters off Pelican Cay where the spearfisherman was killed.

"If anyone is going to be bitten by a tiger shark chances are it will be a spear fisherman," he said.

The conservation group's executive director, Ingrid Parchment, said she could not recall any other fatal shark attacks in Jamaican waters.

"Sharks are not a big fear here," she said.

Earlier this year, an 18-year-old fisherman was severely wounded by a shark in Black River, another coastal community in southern Jamaica.

Last month, Adam Strange, a 46-year-old television and short film director, was killed in a great white shark attack off the coast of New Zealand.