10 March 2006

San Jose diver may have drowned before shark attack

By many accounts, Anthony Moore was an experienced diver. The 45-year-old San Jose engineer left a detailed "float plan" with his wife before heading out for a free-diving excursion off the south coast of Maui Thursday.

Then something went terribly wrong. When he failed to return as scheduled, his wife called 911, prompting a massive search by the US Coast Guard and Maui authorities.

On Friday morning, a kayaker discovered parts of Moore's shark-bitten body off the coast near Makena. The coroner's office received three different sections of remains: a pelvis and lower extremities. A Coast Gaurd official said Saturday that Moore's wife identified her husband by a lanyard that included his rental car key.

"We're not able to determine the cause of death," said Dr. Tony Manoukian, a coroner's physician, from the morgue at Maui Memorial Medical Center Saturday. "We can't exclude the possibility that he was dead at the time of the attack."

Manoukian, a forensic pathologist, said this was his fourth autopsy of a shark attack victim. He said the fact that the kidney was congested with blood indicated that Moore probably drowned and was then attacked by sharks, as opposed to bleeding to death while alive.

"We see shallow water blackouts and drowning more frequently than shark attacks," said Manoukian, who said that DNA testing or recovering the skull and dental records would be required to positively identify the body.

"It may have been more than one species of shark," Manoukian said. "But we have no evidence that it was anything other than a tiger or reef shark."

Moore was an engineer at Code Green Networks of Sunnyvale.

"He was very well liked, and he'll be missed," said Bob Verheecke, who recently joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.

Source: www.mercurynews.com


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