By Stephen J. Thomas
PERTH, Australia, Nov. 13. THE Australian open-water swimming community is still in shock after the
funeral of 49-year-old recreational ocean swimmer Ken Crew was held in Perth Saturday.
Crew was part of an informal swimming club based at the popular Cottesloe Beach, was taking his daily swim at around 6.30am when he was savagely attacked by a sixteen-foot white pointer shark in shallow water, only about twenty-five meters from the shore.
The attack took place in the waters directly below a busy cafe overlooking the beach. Horrified patrons saw the huge shark plow into a group of swimmers, tearing off the leg of the deceased and then turning its attention to another man only thirty feet from the beach. The second swimmer, who managed to fend off
the shark, is recovering in hospital after surgery to lacerations to his feet.
The tragedy is first fatal attack in the Perth area for more than 30 years but coming months after two fatal attacks in more isolated beaches in South
Australia has left the ocean swimming fraternity very nervous with the summer season of racing about to commence. Many of Australia's top Olympians such as Grant Hackett, Kieren Perkins, Bill Kirby, Elka Graham
and Hayley Lewis are regular participants in the major ocean events.