Diver apparently killed by sharks
The waters off South Australia are rife with great white sharks.
February 18th, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Diver apparently killed by sharks

A longtime commercial diver apparently was killed by great white sharks Thursday off South Australia.

Peter Clarkson, a well-known abalone expert, was attacked by two sharks as he returned to the surface from a dive, boat captain Howard Rodd told authorities, according to the watersport site Swellnet.

Clarkson reportedly once provided a written testimonial for an electronic device called Shark Shield. However, it was not known whether he was using the device at the time of the attack, and the Shark Shield website had no testimonial with his name on it Friday.

Divers in the shark-filled waters off South Australia often use shark cages, but Clarkson was not in a cage when he was attacked, police Senior Sgt. Mick Walsh told Adelaide Now.

Clarkson was well-liked and respected in the diving community, reports said. He co-wrote a book on cowries, another type of sea snail.

"He was a fitness and health fanatic. He was a bit alternative but he was always a decent bloke," a friend told Adelaide Now.

The abalone trade is a $50 million annual industry in South Australia, according to Adelaide Now. Abalone are large mollusks whose flesh is used in cooking and medicine and whose shells are lined with mother-of-pearl.

Clarkson is the second diving partner Rodd has lost to sharks. In 2000, his boat overturned; he swam eight miles to shore while his companion, Danny Thorpe, clung to the boat, the Australian network ABC reported. The only traces of Thorpe ever found were a shredded life vest and a battered lunchbox.

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Filed under: Animals • Australia
soundoff (431 Responses)
  1. banasy

    Well, this certainly sux!

    February 18, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      No...it bites!


      February 18, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      I know the daily barrage of this type news makes us callous to those we don't know, but this was a real person, as real as your Father or brother. Sad, and maybe stupid depending on the situation, but not very funny really.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      @ Sad

      No, it falls under the category of Darwinism. If he was unintelligent enough to do something like swimming with Great White sharks without a cage, I can't not laugh. Add to that, his reputed experience with diving. he should have known better. This is like a skydiver who is making his 5,000th jump and decides to jump without a 'chute.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • maurypovich

      the headline on cnn was "shark expert killed great whites" and I wondered why the hell he'd do that, then once I got to the page the sharks had completely flipped the book.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • BurnTHalO

      If you think that falls under Darwinism the way you describe it, you have absolutly no knowledge of sharks at all. First off, you say because he didn't use a cage. I always laugh at that. You think those skinny bars are going to stop something that is 15-20 feet long and near a ton in weight if it wants to get you? Second, in general sharks are not mindless killers. The only way your theory works is if he saw something in the shark behavior and decided to go ahead with the dive anyways. Your analogy is way off. Go read and study a bit before making some comments.

      February 18, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Darwin


      February 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • navy mineman

      great white was quoted as saying. "tasted like chicken"

      February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • red state

      @BurntHalo...swimming without a cage isn't that dangerous. Well it is but if you know what you are doing it can done. What is stupid is if he was in fact harvesting albanoe with sharks nearby. That is basically chumming the water and asking for an incident. I do feel for him and his family but he died doing what he loved. Probably better than losing your life in a car accident which is much more likely.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      While I don't want to make light of someone's death, this seems like an entry for the Spike show "1000 Ways to Die"

      February 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • lemoncheddar

      what do you mean this isn't funny?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • darrien1234

      u are so crazy and sad hoe

      February 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hmmm

      @red state

      probably a lot more painful than a car accident, and I doubt that pain was mitigated by his love of diving

      poor guy!

      February 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dayuh

    Why wasn't this bloke using the Shark Shield or a cage? Bloody stupid git!

    February 18, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      He was following in the footsteps of the late great Steve Erwin.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      As Quint said, "Cage goes in the water, shark in the water."

      February 18, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sutler

    In the words of the great Gill:

    "From this moment on, you shall now be known as Sharkbait."

    February 18, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bloat

      Sharkbait! HOO HA HA

      February 18, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • ichi

      SHARKBAIT OOH–babba..badoo...

      February 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      That's horrible. Funny, but horrible.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • doug


      You sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

      That was funny.

      But this story just shows why we need to not ban shark fin soup in the US. The more sharks we can harvest, the better for all.

      We get shark fin soup at reduced prices. And other sea life gets to live because there are less sharks in the water. Plus less of a case for people being eaten.

      I am also in favor of Tiger Burgers and Lion Kabobs.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shamel

      I don't get Sutler's "sharkbait" joke. What's funny?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • MannyZ

      Daug, how about HIV scramble eggs? Karma is around, so be more humble, my frind.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    LMAO! You're cracking me up this morning!

    February 18, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Morning banasy.

      Glad I can provide some humor to your day this morning. 🙂

      February 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Hernandez

      Meeting of the Trolls

      February 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • displeased

      It's takes real special people to make fun of the deceased. I bet you all are the life of the party at funerals, a quality you should be proud of.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Great White Shark

      I kill at funerals!!

      February 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kathy

    He was "apparently" killed by sharks? Looks pretty definite to me.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Oswald Jones

      The sharks are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      You need to watch CSI and hopefully you will never be on a jury. Although the shark ate part of him it does not determine if the shark killed him. It could have been his partner who hits him over the head, then chums the water, the sharks show up and clean up any evidence of murder.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      lots of koolaid drinkin shark haters on here. the sharks were probably abused as a child.

      February 18, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Black Teeth

      I hope the sharks were white. That way they would be naturally innocent.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • nflsuperfan

      "Apparent" literally means "according to appearances." Since nobody witnessed it, one would call it an apparent shark attach....you moron.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. anonymous

    I think the link to this should read "Shark expert killed BY Great Whites", or maybe "Abalone expert".

    Rodd should now be called "Doombloke"

    February 18, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • par for the course

      You mean you were confused by "Shark expert killed great whites" ? I never would have thought that. Whenever a headline looks unusual, you should just assume that it was written badly. You'll be right more often than not that way with this site.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • SharkMeat

      Based on the headline, the average reader would have summated that a shark expert, possibly harboring a bias or grudge against great whites, had in fact killed great whites.

      Idiocracy, coming to America this summer!

      February 18, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Arthur

    I'm a bit confused here. The headline on cnn.com says "Shark expert killed great whites," but the story is about an "abalone expert" who is killed BY great whites, not that HE killed great whites. good job, cnn.com!

    February 18, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • guestor

      look, you're reading this at no charge......it's free! CNN, in order to provide you this FREE service, hires the lowest-paid help they can find......Headline Writing is outsourced to Bangladesh and those poor folks are not too hot with the English language. Have you never called "Customer Service" for your cable service?

      February 18, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • maurypovich

      seriously guester? this "free" website is one of the most profitable on the internet...ever heard of advertising?

      February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Doug C.

    If someone dies in a car accident driving to work in the morning, would you call the person a "bloody stupid git"? He was diving for abalone and attacked on his "commute" back to his boat. Tragic for he and his family, but not something to be condemned for. Get a perspective on life, Dayuh!

    February 18, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • NIck

      I would fault someone for commuting to work by driving 90mph on a motorcycle on a busy freeway instead of driving 60mph in a car with seatbelts and airbags for safety. It's all about the precautions you take in a risky situation and this guy didn't. It's a shame that he died, but he took a risk and one might say it came back and bit him the ass.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adam

    I clicked on the link because it reads "Shark Expert Killed Great Whites." This is far different from the actual content. Please correct this on the main page. The advertisement and the material have to match.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. JW

    The headline says "Shark Expert Killed Great Whites"

    What a difference a "By" would have made.


    February 18, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • justuandme

      Heh, I was expecting to read about a Shark Expert Killed White Sharks for his research or something along those lines ;p

      February 18, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      How long will it take someone to notice and fix? A certain preposition is still MIA.

      February 18, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff

    Held line on main page says Expert Killed Great White was expecting story about guy killing a shark not the other way around.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Head line

      February 18, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bruce

    "Clarkson is the second diving partner Rodd has lost to sharks"

    Note to self: Do not dive with boat captain Howard Rodd.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      No, the advice should be do not sail in shark-infested waters.

      February 18, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Sanman

      Exactly what I was thinking....Are we sure these dudes are being killed by the sharks...hmmm

      February 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dave

    He didn't know there was meat sauce on the lettuce

    February 18, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. goldylox

    Swimming with great whites???? How stupid can u be ...

    February 18, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. broken teeth

    Shark – 1 Diver – 0

    February 18, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      According to the article it's now Sharks – 2, Divers – 0

      February 18, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Great White Shark

      Come on in the water....we'll make it 3 – 0

      February 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
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