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Local Underwater Filmmaker Says Most Shark Attacks Are Provoked

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A man, diving in Australia, is killed by a 10-foot long great white shark. It was the third attack off the coast in just two months.

Jessica Kartalija joins us with details on how some shark experts are hoping to learn more about what led to the attack.

Internationally, shark attacks on humans hit a 10-year high last year. WJZ spoke with an underwater photographer, who has first-hand experience with sharks and wants to know what may have led to this latest attack.

George Wainwright, 32, was diving alone off a boat Saturday near Rotness Island in Western Australia when he was fatally attacked by a shark.  Two of Wainwright’s friends who were on the private boat saw bubbles coming from the water and called for help.

Police say the shark, a 10-foot great white, surfaced and even nudged the dive boat as Wainwright’s friends retrieved his body.

“He floated to the surface and the shark was seen as they were leaving the area, coming back into Thomson Bay,” said Nick Caloyianis. “We try to pride ourselves on being able to predict the behavior of these animals.”

Caloyianis is a local underwater filmmaker, who has made a career of swimming toward these dangerous sharks. He says shark attacks like this one are all too familiar.

“I think of my own accident a long time ago, but it was provoked and I just hope the story that comes out is filled with accurate information,” Caloyianis said.

Caloyianis says it’s important to understand shark behavior before determining whether there is a shark problem, or this was just an unfortunate incident.

“Sometimes, I hate to use this, but it’s just bad luck,” he said. “That fellow might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Wainwright, who grew up in Panama City, Fla., moved to Australia six months ago to work for a marine company.  His family says he had a passion for being on the water.

Caloyianis says most attacks are provoked–meaning someone touched, poked or aggravated the shark in some way. Last year, 14 unprovoked attacks were reported.

There is typically one shark attack in Australia every year.

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