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)

    Reminds me of Jaws..."Martin, it’s all psychological. If you yell barracuda, people are gonna say, huh, what? You yell shark…then, we have a panic on our hands on the 4th of July"

    February 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |

    Jaws: Boys… oh boys! I think he’s come back for his noon feeding!

    February 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. adilson

    sharks? i prefer sardines.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lucerot

    There's something about sharks that scares the bejeezus out of me. Oh yeah – it is the fact that they haven't evolved for 100s of millions of years because they are *perfect ocean predators*.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • dkrash

      ... just being a shark.

      February 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. lucerot

    If only he was wearing his shark shield..

    February 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lucerot

    "Peter Clarkson, a well-known abalone expert..." LOL! Huh?

    February 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Manfred

    In all sincerity, I think he took a gamble with his life, and he had no life afterwards. Some people die for different reasons, naivity, carelessness...bla bla. RIP Peter. Your mistake killed you.

    February 19, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. jcr

    sad story but dude was diving in shark infested waters talk about a jackpot not one but to white sharks I guess thaey don't like abalonie do they. Sharks gotta eat too.

    February 19, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Upset

    CNN did a terrible job with checking the facts on this article. And they are contributing to the misinformation and unreasonable fear of sharks. And also are doing an injustice to the diver by portraying him as an idiot.

    #1 Abalone divers never dive in a cage. they would not be able to do their job otherwise.

    #2 There are much more shark encounters in the open sea than in a cage. Especially by underwater hunters,
    but any diver can encounter a "dangerous" shark on any given dive.

    This diver was doing his job so the rest of us can have food on our table. And many people here are insulting his memory. A cage should not even be mentioned in this article, it has nothing to do with abalone diving.

    I personally went head to head with Bull sharks on several occasions. This is normal part of a spearos job. And I have no desire to destroy any sharks for the sole purpose of killing them.


    February 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SDFGas

    I love sharkstoo

    February 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dayuh

    Doug C:
    If the bloody stupid git wasn't wearing a seat belt when he got in the accident, then yes, he's a bloody stupid git! I HAVE got a perspective on life, and that's to protect myself by using all of the prevailing safety equipment to do so, whether it is at my job, or while driving a car to said job! And for trying to pontificate when it clearly wasn't necessary, you are a bloody sukwipe stupid git! Sod off, moron!

    February 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AndyOz

    Upset. That is probably one of the few sensible comments made over this whole incident. Apparently one other aspect that was not reported by CNN or other overseas news services was that it was not just one shark that took the bloke but from what was reported here two ripped him apart. Whatever the nature of it, it is certainly not a good way to go.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. herslf

    I think you all are off–if he could he would just shrug and say that's the way it is. He did what he did because that's the way he wanted to live. He lived well. May he rest in peace.

    February 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shelldiver

    First of all, I knew Peter.

    I am writing from Germany, so perhaps I will not always use the right words...

    Second, not the sharks are brainless, emotionally cold beasts, but a lot of the so called "Humans", posting this disgusting comments here.

    Third, I know from Peter himsef, that he was always using Shark Shields...
    His last email at New Years Day confirms this.

    So he was not careless, but, of course, a remaining risk was there.

    His death is a big sad loss for the community of Marine Experts.
    He loved the sea, was so passionate and enthusiastic about shells. He will not be forgotten.
    We are deeply saddened.

    Rest in peace, Peter.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • notTOMCRUISE

      The guy was murdered. He was murdered by the boat captain guy.

      April 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Becky

    u guys dont understand do you? everything was put on to planet for a reason. dont u see? its all in front of our eyes, yes human beings come before animals and wat happened was atragic acceident!

    February 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
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