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. Chartreux

    He went out doing what he loved. How many of us could say the same? Those of you youngbloods who are still in school making judgments about his choice of career have no idea what it is to give your life to a boring 9 to 5 existence.

    Good on you, mate. Fair winds and following seas.

    February 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum!

      Uh, yeah. I'm sure he loved being eaten by sharks. I'm sure if given the choice between being great white chow or dying when he's 105, resting comfortably in a nursing home, he'd say, "I would much rather be eaten by sharks. It's what I've always loved."

      February 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chartreux

    According to the NZ Herald, Clarkson was attacked by two great whites hunting in tandem. The attack was witnessed by Rodd. Clarkson is presumed dead due to lack of remains.

    February 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Seamoor

    He should have skipped that Snickers bar in his lunch!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. scopedope

    Two things about Great White Sharks: #1 Don't mess with them...#2 If you do, the law of averages will eventually catch up with you.

    February 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. American boy

    What a dumb a$$ now that sharky is gone????? what's the next meal? hope is Obama meat lol

    February 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Yum!

    When reached for comment, the sharks stated Clarkson was delicious.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. keith

    the sharks were hungry...plain and simple

    February 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Robert Cameron

    Alternative view: this is that captain's 2nd loss of a partner to sharks. If a husband had lost 2 wives to sharks, what would the questions be?

    February 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    From the depths of Google, a copy of the Shark Shield testimonial, which they have since removed. ...

    "Peter Clarkson – Professional Diver (Western Australia)
    Wednesday, 11th August 2010
    For the last six years, when diving I have worn a Shark POD attached to my bail-out bottle, upgrading earlier this year to the new and more powerful unit, the Shark Shield. In early August, I was hookah-diving in 50m water off Kalbarri, Western Australia, researching a group of cowry shells which are the subject of a book I am co-authoring

    February 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kris

    I've been a shark diver for many years, and I know many who do what he did. You can't get to the abalone from a shark cage, and those divers know the risk. It's a very sad story and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Let's keep the comments respectful people. He died doing what he loved though, I hope I'll be able to say the same thing.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Meh


    February 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beast8161

    I stand by my earlier comment. Nature abhors a vacuum and eventually Nature will work around their extinction like it always does. You'll feel different when you or one of your loved ones is getting gnawed on or torn to pieces by one of these useless creatures. True enough that if you go in the water (be it the ocean or the Everglades or any body of water in Florida) you take your chances. every dead shark or alligator or crocodile is one safer human.

    February 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAR

      You don't have a clue!! Everything has it's place in nature. Everything even stupid people like you.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Deb

    Look, the 'sad' part is that this guy may have had a family, sure. BUT, why go into "shark-filled waters off South Australia" without any protection? Sure, bars and little cages are no match for a big creature like that... But it is a preventative measure. Like condoms, not 100% effective, but it is better than nothing. These waters belong to the shark. If someone I didn’t know was in my living room, I would defend it. What’s really sad is now they are going to hunt down and kill this shark for being what it is… A SHARK!!!

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

      Part left out: If he cared about his family enough, he may not have put himself in that situation.

      February 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jeremy

    a tragedy for the mans family but if you insist on swimming with two ton animals with rows of razor sharp teeth what the f do you expect

    February 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. carpediem

    at least he was doing something fun when he went out

    February 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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