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. Bruce Smith

    So true gregorio!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Quint

    "Hooper Drives the boat chief"

    February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Let's drink to our legs!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WADIM

    gregorio – i agree...i was mowing the lawn the other day and a stick whacked me in the jimmy

    February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce Smith


      February 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WADIM

    my buddy, my buddy, my buddy and m.....oops, he got eaten by a shark

    February 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    I wanted abalone 'cause I had none.
    I fought the sharks and the sharks won.
    I fought the sharks and the sharks won.
    I forgot to take my spear gun.
    I fought the sharks and the sharks won.
    I fought the sharks and the sharks wooooooooooooon.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce Smith

    Has anyone ever seen a shark with poor dental practices ever gum someone to death?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HawaiiWahine

    Peter Clarkson was a well-respected diver. Per articles in the Australia newspapers his friends say that he was also an ardent conservationist who would not want sharks killed as a consequence of this incident. I had never heard of him before but in researching who he was and his passion for protection of the oceans, I am very sorry that the marine protection movement and the diving community has lost one of its own. I wish CNN had included the quote from his friend in regards to his views on shark protection as some of you commenting on this blog are calling for decimating shark populations. Clarkson would not have wanted that and I hope his wishes are respected. Sharks are a necessary part of ocean ecology and every diver knows that they are taking a risk. Though certainly no one wants to be killed by sharks, those of us who use the oceans respect that it is their territory.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Sorry Wahine Hiney, but when a carcharadon carcharias (Great White Shark) eats a diverus justaskingforitus (Idiot) it's appropriate to, in the words of Bugs Bunny, "dogpile on the rabbit."

      February 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Great White Shark

      @ Bob.....ha ha ha ha!!!!...send more diverus'

      February 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WADIM

    maybe he should go see Tim Watley

    February 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    Picture caption–"The waters off South Australia are rife with great white sharks." "RIFE"??? Whoa, looks like CNN hired a wordsmith.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob's 2nd Grade English Teacher

      Bob... Rife is a word.
      Widespread, common (especially of unpleasant or harmful things); Abounding; present in large numbers, plentiful; Plentifully, abundantly

      February 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Miss Hogan? Is that you? You'll be happy to know that I took 2 years of Advanced Placement English in high school and graduated with a BA in English Literature from Rutgers University. Sorry you never took those classes in sarcasm. You see, a wordsmith is someone who favors flowery or obscure language. While "rife" has a definition, it's connotation is "too many" or "an oversupply". "Common" would have been the better choice of word. Your comment is rife with failure.

      February 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bruce Smith

    Wow! Way to destroy the mood HawaiiWahine! I bet your a blast at parties!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • HawaiiWahine

      Hey Bruce,

      Actually I am a very gregarious person and great fun at parties. I separate well my entertainment and my advocacy. Guess you and I just have very different ideas of what article comments are for.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. T. Lee

    How utterly stupid and trollish so many of these comments.

    A man lost his life here – and all a bunch of losers who probably never get off the couch and stuffing their face (or get closer to shark infested waters than their bathtub and battery operated flipper) is make snide and/or really morinic comments thinking they are being funny.

    Grow up – or better yet – take a trip to Australia and go for a swim

    February 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Lighten up, Francis.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Man is in the water with a shark and we are idiots?? I'm sorry I'll ride the couch and stay an idiot. but I do have compasssion if he hadn't been so stupid perhaps he would be alive.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • traffic61

      My couch is a safe zone from sharks. However, there is that pesky octopus that lives in the cracks and steals my Cheetos.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      I had to get to the END of this comment section to find a human being. Thank you, what a horrible way to go. My thoughts to his family. Hilary. Not with a shredded wet suit. And they're not going to shred "Just" the wet suit.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bnasta12

      @JJ – you actually have a greater chance of dying on your sofa than you do of being attacked by a shark while in the water.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WADIM

    would that be the same as saying her hair is RIFE with dandruff?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Quint

    Here lies the body of Mary Lee. Died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity. Not a bad record for this vicinity.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce Smith

    Im stuffing my face with shark.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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