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. R

    wow, you guys are idiots.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caesar

      No, the idiot is the guy who willingly swims in shark-infested waters.

      February 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patrick B

    I doubt he was using the Shark Shield. Or if he was, it may have malfunctioned. Being a diver, I know how this device works and I find it hard to believe a shark would be able to penetrate that electrical field, but who knows? Maybe the field irritated it and it was a defensive attack.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • autom

      This message brought to you by the makers of Shark Shield.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dover

      Being a diver does not make you an expert on the Shark Shield. These electric-field anti shark devices work fine with calm sharks but in a feeding situation they are far from effective.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cocopuffs

    I bet the Shark liked Fish Sticks.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • notthesameguy

      I bet he liked putting fish sticks in his mouth.

      February 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • FIGMENT12345

      whats ur problem u r treating a mans death klike it is a joke

      February 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Does that make it a gay fish?

      March 7, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pitt Cairn

    Obviously, the sharks didn't see the ad.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kbaredge126c

    These are some moronic posts today. A human is killed by sharks and you guys joke about it. I'll bet you people shudder at the sight of a nurse shark gliding by. Actually, I doubt you venture more than 2 feet from the water's edge.

    February 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      That's my thought when I see these posts. It's sad people not only brush off this death like it was a fly that died, they mock him.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Brody

      Let's drink to the serious look on your face 🙂

      February 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      He's the laughing stock up here, too.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gort01

      youre right we wouldnt....want to know why???? CUZ SHARKS CAN AND DO KILL HUMANS..... this is not brain surgery.....stay out of the water when sharks are around...OR.... dont cry when you get eaten....jesus

      March 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ouch!

    one of my top 10 worst ways to die..shiat..

    February 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. james

    Darwin award winner...

    February 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ARB

      I was thinking the same thing-the Darwinian thinning of the herd.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      At least he was enjoying his life, while you exist to make meaningless "darwin award winner!" comments like a little school boy.

      February 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jayniner

      Rick's just mad because he's doing the same thing.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GD

    Sharks, 'Dey only bite if you touch dey private parts!

    February 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. STA


    February 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. -

    February 18, 2011

    February 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. minoa

    Wait a miinute. This boat captain Howard Rodd has lost TWO partners to shark attack?! And not trace found? Just in case, the cops ought to investigate whether or not he had a motive to kill these guys and staged it to make it look like shark attack. In the first instance, he could have done the deed, disposed of the body, then placed the shredded preserver before swimming to shore.

    February 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hangedman

      I just love paranoid conspiracy theorists. How did it take so long for one of these wackos to post?

      February 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meggie

      And salted the area white giant sharks. How clever!

      February 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • doesitmatter

      I don't think its paranoia, it could possibly be the guy is an opportunistic killer. It would be easy to claim shark deaths when no body is found. Serial killers tend to use the same patterns in their killers. There was a story of a pastor who tried not once but twice to killer a parisher with a car accident, succeeding the 2nd time, and inheriting his money.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiffney

      I was thinking the same thing. I understand the odds of a shark attack are higher if you are diving all the time. But two attacks with only one guy witnessing this? I would be wondering if I were the cops.

      March 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. john

    as my dad always said....you have to pay to play!!!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    CNN, do your homework! The 11 February 20011 Google cache of the Shark Shield testimonials page clearly lists Peter Clarkson's testimonial.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dover

      That's it.....I'm calling the wahhhhbulance.

      February 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. truthinrock

    Sounds like he took one too many chances, once too often. He died doing what he loved to do and the rest of us should be so lucky.

    February 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • thorn

      He loved being eaten alive by a Great White? Weird.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 1racebannon

    "Divers in the shark-filled waters off South Australia often use shark cages, but Clarkson was not in a cage when he was attacked,"

    Well, No S**t!

    February 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
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