Shark Attack at Highgate Hill 1902

shark attack brisbane river 1905

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser Tuesday 21st January 1902 (TROVE)

The  injured boy’s brother said that Charles was a newsboy aged 16 and lived with his parents at Carlton Street, Highgate Hill. He’d swam about 15 metres out from the bank, when he was bitten by the shark.

newspaper sellers rowes arcade brisbane ca 1925

Newspaper boys waiting for their papers in Rowes Arcade ca 1925 (State Library of Queensland)

Bull sharks still exist in considerable numbers in the Brisbane River. According to Wikipedia , there have been four recorded shark attack fatalities in 1862, 1880, 1901 and 1921. There have also been many dogs attacked.

Bull Shark Brisbane River

A Bull Shark caught in the river 2016 (ABC News)


There were a number of enclosed swimming pools in the Brisbane river at various times to protect bathers including at locations such as Alice street in the city, Mowbray Park and Dutton Park.

Swimming enclosure on the river at Dutton Park 1921

Dutton Park Baths ca 1921

However swimming in the river was popular, especially amongst boys. My grandfather told me that as a young boy in the late 1800s, he often used to swim in the river with friends . There were accidents however, such as this tragic event involving two young brothers from Colville Street, Highgate Hill.

boys drown brisbane river 1903

Brisbane Telegraph 12 January 1903 (TROVE)

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