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Shark attack pair want rogues killed
Shark attack pair want rogues killed

Two local shark attack survivors say rogue sharks that threaten beachgoers or boats should be killed to protect the public.

Brian Sierakowski and Martin Kane were struck by the similarities of their terrifying encounters when they met for the first time on Friday - but in a lighter moment, who escaped the bigger predator was up for debate.

It is 15 years since Mr Sierakowski, a lawyer and former football champion, narrowly escaped the jaws of a 3m-5m great white shark that crunched into his double surf ski near his feet as he paddled with friend John Hanrahan 200m off Cottesloe beach in October 1997.

For retired businessman Mr Kane, memories of being stranded 150m offshore as a 3.5m great white mauled his surf ski at Mullaloo in June are still raw.

Mr Sierakowski said the sea was the sharks' domain and people should not "destroy their habitat and what they do".

But when there was a rogue shark - such as in his case - authorities had to do something.

"That shark stayed around on the metropolitan beaches for the next two or three weeks and, in fact, threatened other people," he said.

Mr Kane agreed, saying that sharks that bit boat motors and attacked people would not "unlearn" that behaviour. But he also wants the State Government to try to protect swimmers by adapting technology used overseas - such as sonar buoys used by the US and British navies - to alert authorities to untagged sharks.

The men, both surf lifesaving club members, compared shark stories when they spoke at a fundraiser for Surf Life Saving WA's Guardians of the Surf Program.

Re-telling and reliving the attack, and hearing again details of the horrifying scene from Dale Gration, the mate who saved him, still drains Mr Kane.

Although the survivors quickly returned to the surf, they conceded the attacks had changed their behaviour. They no longer paddle surf skis on the ocean early in the day and since the recent spate of fatal attacks, Mr Sierakowski and his mates are spending more time on the river.