Search for shark attack victim suspended

Gary Johnson with his partner Karen Milligan.  Photo: supplied
Gary Johnson with his partner Karen Milligan. Photo: supplied

POLICE have called off the search for Esperance shark attack victim Gary Johnson.

Mr Johnson, a keen diver, had just suited up and entered the water when he was attacked about 1pm on Sunday near Cull Island, close to West Beach in Esperance.

His partner, Karen Milligan, issued a mayday call but Mr Johnson was unable to be reached.

Police divers had been searching for Mr Johnson’s body but say the search has been suspended pending any new information.

Ms Milligan issued an emotional statement on Monday, saying her husband loved the ocean and knew the risks associated with being in the ocean.

She said Gary felt “at home in and on the ocean”.

“We would go out diving in our boat whenever we could, most weekends,” she said.

“We took photos, not fish. We were always aware of the risks, and often told each other that if we were attacked by a shark, that would just be unlucky.

“We were completely against shark culling, and I still am.”