More nets to be fitted after shark pack attack

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 June, 1995, 12:00am

SHARK nets will be installed at more beaches 'as soon as possible' after a 45-year-old morning-swim enthusiast was killed in what appeared to be an attack by a pack of sharks.

Wong Kwai-yung's left leg up to the hip and left arm were bitten off at unprotected Clear Water Bay 1st Beach at 8 am yesterday.

She is the third victim this year. All attacks have taken place at a cluster of small beaches along the Clear Water Bay coastline.

Wong was taken from a group of about 50 bathers and was chest-deep only 15 metres from the shore. Doctors found seven teeth marks in her abdomen and another two in her right thigh - each between three and eight centimetres in width - suggesting there were several sharks.

Two sharks were sighted 12 hours earlier off nearby Silverstrand beach.

Wong's friend, Lau Kam-ho, 50, said: 'I had just asked her whether we should get out. She told me to go ahead and she would come later.

'When I got to the shore, I looked back and saw her floating in a pool of blood.' A man on the beach said he had heard a woman screaming for help and waving her arms. 'She screamed twice. There were at least three swimmers nearby. But not long after that, she was motionless and floating in reddened water.' Lifeguard Ng Tin-ho rowed a raft out to Wong and pulled her body out of the water.

Marine Police launches and a helicopter failed to find any trace of sharks, although a 'giant' fish was reported in Tolo Harbour late last night. A swimmer was killed by a tiger shark at nearby Hoi Ha Wan in 1979.

A beach official said two lifeguards started work at 6 am yesterday and walked up and down the beach asking people to stay out of the water, warning them that sharks had been spotted the previous night.

Kiosk operator Au Yeung Ho-chuen said Wong had advised her friends to keep to the shallow water.

Wong went into the water shortly after 7 am, as she had done almost every morning for years.

The Regional Council decided yesterday to immediately investigate which beaches could be fitted with shark nets.

The nets, which would cost about $1 million each to install and $1 million a year to maintain, could be fitted within six months.

Nets at Clear Water Bay 2nd Beach and Silverstrand in Sai Kung and at Kadoorie Beach in Tuen Mun, installed in May last year, are still on trial.