Diver in chummed waters dies after shark bite - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Diver in chummed waters dies after shark bite

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Updated: An Austrian tourist died Monday after being bitten by a shark while diving near the Bahamas in waters that had been baited with bloody fish parts to attract the predators.

Markus Groh, 49, a Vienna lawyer and diving enthusiast, was on a commercial dive trip Sunday when he was bitten about 50 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, said Karlick Arthur, Austrian counsel general in Miami, Florida.

Groh was in the open water without a cage or similar protection.

The crew aboard the Shear Water, of Riviera Beach-based Scuba Adventures, immediately called the U.S. Coast Guard, which received a mayday from the vessel, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Ameen.

Groh was airlifted to a hospital, where he died. Groh was bitten on the leg, Ameen said, but he could not be more specific about the extent of his injuries.

It was unclear what type of shark was involved in the attack. The shark got away before anyone could identify the species.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department. A telephone message left for police was not immediately returned.

A woman who answered the telephone at Scuba Adventures on Monday said the company had no comment.

The company's Web site says it offers the opportunity to get "face to face" with sharks. The site explains that its hammerhead and tiger shark expeditions in the Bahamas are "unique shark trips ... run exclusively for shark enthusiasts and photographers."

To ensure "the best results we will be 'chumming' the water with fish and fish parts," the Web site explains. "Consequently, there will be food in the water at the same time as the divers. Please be aware that these are not 'cage' dives, they are open water experiences."

Previously: A shark attacks and kills a man on a diving expedition near the Bahamas leaving a lot of questions about exactly what happened unanswered. The Diver, 49-year-old Markus Groh of Vienna, Austria, was bitten on the leg, but later died at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Groh was part of a diving excursion Sunday with "Abernethy Scuba Adventures" out of Riviera Beach. The boat, called the "Sheer Water" was about 50 miles east of Fort Lauderdale near Grand Bahama Island when Groh was attacked. He was air lifted to Jackson Memorial by a Coast Guard chopper. The area where Groh was rescued is an area where divers often go to get up close and personal with different kinds of sharks.

The Riviera Beach-based charter company has also been criticized in the past for putting diver's lives at risk. Bahamian officials say they don't use cages when conducting dives where sharks are known to roam, but it is still unknown whether a cage was used during Sunday's dive excursion.

Tiger sharks and bull sharks are the most common species found near the area where the attack took place. Tiger sharks are known as one of the most dangerous species of sharks. Experts say they are responsible for a majority of fatal shark attacks on humans. Bull sharks are also known to be aggressive, but it is not known whether either species was involved in the attack.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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