David Alan Weir

David Alan Weir
Died from multiple Injuries sustained from a shark attack; Body recovered
11 September 1995

David Alan Weir Memorial

David Alan Weir was an Abalone diver who operated a licence owned by Peter Clausen. He was licensed to take abalone in Zone 3 of the Abalone Fishery, which extended between Busselton and Shoal Cape, west of Esperance. Mr Weir lived in Margaret River.

On the morning of 11 September 1995, David Weir (29), went fishing with deckhand, David Lashmar (21) at Starvation Bay, east of Hopetoun. They were fishing from a 4.5 metre Quintrex aluminium boat. Weir was using a hookah to dive, supplying compressed air through a hose from the boat. They started diving early that day for abalone, approximately 1.5 to three kilometres offshore between Starvation Bay and Honeymoon Island on WA’s south coast.

Tragedy struck around 3pm that afternoon when Weir performed his last dive for the day.

At that last location, he remained on the surface of the water, surveying the ocean floor before descending the 8.5 metres to the bottom. Lashmar noticed that the boat was not in a good position and too close to where the waves were breaking. So, he moved approximately 30 metres away to a safer location. He took a GPS reading of that spot. While doing this, he saw violent thrashing in the water, a large volume of blood and a large shark’s tail where Weir had dived down.

Lashmar gunned the boat back to where Weir had descended and saw bubbles rising to the surface, where the air hose went down. He pulled Weir to the surface via the air hose, only to find him deceased after having sustained multiple injuries from the shark.

Lashmar held Weir by his weight belt in an attempt to pull him onboard. But the weight was too much, so he was tied to the rear of the vessel by the air hose. He eventually became detached and sank to the ocean floor. Lashmar was forced to travel back to Starvation Bay without him. On arriving there, fishermen drove him to Hopetoun to report the tragedy. He was then driven to Ravensthorpe Hospital, where he was treated for shock.

David Weir’s body was again located two days later on 13 September 1995, on the foreshore approximately eight kilometres west of Munglinup Beach. It became evident that there had been an increase in sharks located in the area from August to October, coinciding with the birthing of whale calves and seal pups.

A number of new safety measures were recommended following Weir’s death. These included the development of a Safety Code for the Abalone industry, consistent with that in place for the Pearl industry. Also, that consideration be given to the use of additional safety and protection equipment, especially when fishing in waters deemed dangerous due to increased marine life.

David Weir left behind his wife, Carolyn, and their two children aged 3 and 13 at the time.