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Special Report
forwarded by AAF Correspondent: James Morris

Wetsuit a clue after shark attack off South Australia

Monday, May 31, 1999

AAP -- The body of a young windsurfer killed by a shark off South Australia's Yorke Peninsula may never be found, police said yesterday.

A shredded wetsuit, scratched sailboard and torn harness provided clues to the fate of 22-year-old TV sound recordist Tony Donoghue, who went missing yesterday while windsurfing in Hardwicke Bay, on the peninsula's west coast.

"There's no doubt he was taken by a shark," police spokesman Sergeant Steve Williams said of Mr Donoghue, of Adelaide, who has worked on Channel Seven's Today Tonight show.

"(Police) don't hold out any hope that they'll find him or even part of his body."

Mr Donoghue may have been taken by a white pointer, or great white shark, which a local fisherman said were seen regularly in Hardwicke Bay.

South Australian waters are notorious for sightings of the white pointer, the most ferocious of the shark family and now a protected species in Australia.

Authorities yesterday called off the search for the sailboarder, who was reported missing at about 5pm ACST yesterday after going windsurfing with friends.

Within hours a search by a Polair helicopter, sea rescue and local volunteers found Mr Donoghue's damaged sailboard about 3km from where he was last seen, said Sgt Williams.

Three kilometres further south was a harness with rips and tears in it, consistent with a shark attack.

Another six kilometres south, searchers found part of a wetsuit which had been "totally slashed up", Sgt Williams said.

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