msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/17/2011 10:24:00 AM ET 2011-02-17T15:24:00

A diver was presumed dead after a dive boat captain saw two sharks, possibly great whites, drag him away off the south Australian coast, police said Thursday.

Police Insp. Glen Sickerdick told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the abalone diver was surfacing when he was attacked near Port Lincoln in South Australia state.

"It's been reported that the diver was returning to the surface on Thursday afternoon when two sharks, which are believed to be great whites, attacked and grabbed him," he said.

The boat's captain returned alone to port where he was treated for shock, an ambulance service spokeswoman said.

Story: Shark attacks rose 25 percent last year across the globe

With night approaching when the news of the attack reached officials, a search for the diver's remains was scheduled during daylight Friday.

The area is known for sharks and has seen a big increase in sightings in recent weeks, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Hungry sharks swarm Florida shores

  1. Transcript of: Hungry sharks swarm Florida shores

    ANN CURRY, anchor: And it's a nice day for a swim in the warm waters off of Florida , if you're a shark. Tens of thousands of sharks have been swarming about 50 yards from the shore near a popular diving spot, and biologists say they're hungry. They also say the carnivorous fish are so close to the beach because they're chasing bait fish and trying to keep warm. Who isn't? It is now 7:11. Let's go back to Meredith , Matt and Al .

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments