Doug had a dive shop at Kingscliffe and then Tweed Heads in northern New SOuth Wales when I first knew him.
This picture was Doug at Cairns a few years later. He’d bought a charter boat and was doing well with dive trips.
Spearfishing alone one afternoon out from Cairns, he failed to return. They found his lead belt, maybe with shark teeth marks and his speargun – nothing else. We have recently learned Doug Smith was spear fishing in very hostile waters that fateful day.
Doug Smith had a bad habit of spear fishing on scuba and carrying the catch inside his wetsuit. (Peter Bristow, charter boat skipper).
“I fished exactly where Doug Smith disappeared and caught eleven tiger sharks (all) over 13 feet in length and within a week of Doug’s disappearance at Pellowe Reef”. (from Shark Man by Vic Hislop).
The first tiger shark caught by Vic was a 14 footer. Within minutes it was bitten in halves by an even larger tiger shark about 17 feet long. Water depth only 25 feet and 30 meters from the edge of the reef.
Tiger sharks filmed off Cairns by John Harding in 1975, during the annual marlin fishing season.