Tiger shark
Police believe a 16ft tiger shark attacked George Facey (Reuters)

A 68-year-old fisherman has been killed in a shark attack off Jamaica's south coast.

George Facey was attacked by a 16ft shark early on Tuesday as he dove in waters around three miles from the town of Savanna-la-Mar.

He left the Old Harbour Bay Fishing Beach early in the morning and the group encountered a number of sharks while diving for fish.

Facey's colleagues said he was bitten a number of times by the animal, which they believe was a tiger shark.

Compton Campbell, a local fisherman and a friend of Facey, said: "It's awful and a big shock. That shark shredded him up. I knew him very well and I can tell you that he was a very good man, a good Christian."

Anthony Daley, another fisherman who was with Facey when the shark attacked, said it was the biggest shark he had ever seen in his ten years of fishing in Jamaica.

"Me fish everywhere in Jamaica and even as far away as Honduras and this is the biggest shark me ever see. The shark is definitely a killer because George never had any fish for it to kill him for. It is just a devil shark," he told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Hand and foot missing

The fisherman told police how the shark circled them as they retrieving Facey's bleeding body and returned him to shore.

"When we start pull him in we realize that his hand and foot was gone and then we see the shark, circling around." Daley said.

Brandon Hay, who works in southern Jamaica for the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, a conservation group, said tiger sharks are sometimes spotted in the waters where Facey was killed.

"If anyone is going to be bitten by a tiger shark chances are it will be a spear fisherman," he added.

According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, seven people were killed by sharks worldwide last year.

Last month in New Zealand, a 14ft shark killed a 46-year-old swimmer, Adam Strange, in the water off the coast of Auckland. Lifesavers said they thought it was a great white shark.

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