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)

    Seriously CNN get some writer's who can actually write an article let alone headline correctly. This reads like CRAP! The diver KILLS sharks then is killed once reading this. Then the piece reads like I wiped my A$$ with it. What are you outsourcing your business like the rest of lazyass America! Holy HELL!

    February 18, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Disgusted Reader

    I opened this link because the headliine read "Shark Expert killed Great Whites:". Turned out the shark expert was killed BY Great Whites. CNN – Do you have no proofreaders before you post "News", or are you deliberately posting the wrong headline to lure readers into opening the link ? Either way, it's a disgrace !

    February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nemesis

    Please proofread your headlines CNN. Is that too much to ask?

    February 18, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Atreju

    "Clarkson is the second diving partner Rodd has lost to sharks."
    Shark attacks occur incredibly rarely. For this man to have his 2 co-workers both attacked and killed by sharks should set off some flags, particularly if he was the only person there on both occasions. It certainly seems like killing someone then feeding their body to sharks would be a great way to get rid of evidence in a way that you could conclude they were eaten by sharks. I'm not saying that's what happened, but I hope they are scrutinizing this situation and considering all possibilities!

    February 18, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      If both partners were eaten "on the way up" like this guy, I would agree.

      But the first one was eaten while Rodd swam 8 miles to shore. Not exactly an easy feat, and as such something that doesn't often appear in murder plots.

      First guy probably was mistaken for a floundering whale

      February 18, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Atreju

      @Bill How would you know it happened while Rodd swam 8 miles? That's his account! There was no body, that's explicitly stated in the article, no way to determine the time of death was there? Pretty hard without a body...the only information is the survivor's testimony. That's exactly what I'm saying – it should be looked into – not blindly accepted :(.

      February 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    preview says "Shark expert kills great whites".
    Get to the story and its "Diver killed by great whites".
    Read the story and its "Abalone expert killed by great whites."

    Tomorrow I expect there will be an update: "Abalone kills great whites."

    February 18, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. star

    hmmm. has anyone taken a good long look at the captain? He IS the common denominator...

    February 18, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. ME


    February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. DARIN

    Thought I was gonna read a Mike Vick type story. Was curious if he was gonna go to jail for it. Turns out, the sharks got him. GO SHARKS!! Of course I mean the San Jose SHARKS!

    February 18, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rapturus

    Don't take this the wrong way, but he knew the risks that come with diving with sharks in the open. It is sad that he was killed, but he probably felt safe among the sharks. Something may have happened to trigger an attack if 2 great whites did that, it is VERY uncommon for more than 1 great white to attack a person, I've only heard of it one other time. Hopefully he didn't have the shark repeller since he risked his life to test it and confirmed it worked. It is horrible that his family will not be able to bury any remains. I am sympathetic for the people he left behind. Sudden, unexpected deaths are very hard for any person, no matter what way someone dies.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      "he probably felt safe among the sharks". Yeah, I think that's where he went wrong.

      February 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. K12

    Never get out of the boat – Martin Sheen

    February 18, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jerimiah

    CNN – Your headlines are simply reliably retarded. I knew as soon as I read the headline "Shark expert killed great whites" that I'd click the link only to find out that the sharks killed the expert. Not the other way around. Why? Because you folks routinely get your headlines wrong, and I find that they routinely convey the wrong message.


    February 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob the Enzyte Guy

    This aint funny, chum!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    "shark expert killed great whites" being the headline on the CNN homepage is completely misleading.

    February 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve-O

    Funny how the story says this happened on Thursday, yet I heard it on a morning radio show at 7am PST yesterday. Me thinks someone at CNN has their facts wrong!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. silvershado

    Reminds me of the bear expert who ignored his own rules and was killed by one. Sadly, his girlfriend died with him.

    February 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
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