An experienced spearfisherman has died after being attacked by a shark in Papua New Guinea.
Kala Gera, 33, and family members were fishing off Abau’s Ragelapara Reef near Port Moresby Dec. 26.
Around 3 p.m. the six divers began spearing. Since Gera was the most experienced, he took lead and decided which spots to hit.
Divers would spear fish and then tie them to a waist rope, which is a very bad practice as they are physically connected to the fish and can be drug away if a predator were to grab a fish. They would then swim to the surface and hand the fish to two divers stationed in the dinghy.
Around 4:30 p.m. Gera alerted the boat to come closer to the divers as there were plenty of fish and the current was in the diver’s favor.
Gera chatted with his uncle, who was stationed in the boat, before diving down, stalking and then spearing a fish.
“When he reached out for his catch, the shark appeared and ripped off his right arm out,” Willie Va’a, who was with Gera, told The National. “I then tried to distract the shark by slapping the water, but the shark did not respond.”
“When I took aim with my spear gun, the shark swam away in the bloody water with Gerea’s arm in its mouth. That’s the last time I saw Gerea.”
Va’a said the shark turned towards him, but he managed to climb out of the water and onto the boat.
“The beast was white, big and about five-metres (16ft) long. We went near the spot of the attack but the waters were red with more than 10 sharks circling around.
“We were shocked, we didn’t know what to do because we were really scared. I really feel sad and regret for not saving my brother and leaving him like that.”
The divers never saw Gerea again but were able to locate parts of his clothing and his spear.
“Gerea also lost is father in a shark attack 11 years ago. This attack must surely be extremely painful and unforgettable to his mother,” skipper and the victim’s uncle Bri OleWale said.
“The trip was to get fish for me, so I organised some fuel. I blame myself. If I didn’t organise this trip, then this tragedy would not have occurred.”
This is the sixth fatal shark attack reported in 2019 and the first fatal provoked attack.
The approximate location has been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.