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. Quint

    Front, bow. Back, stern. If ya don't get it right, squirt, I throw your ass out the little round window on the side.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Limbaugh is a liberal

    BTW, there is a huge heatwave moving through the Northeast. Over 20 degrees warmer than normal! Where are the headlines??? Or only snow during winter (gasp!) creates headlines?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bruce Smith

    Has anyone seen my hair?

    February 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fortean

    It is a shame for the man who lost his life but lets not blame the shark for doing what it was built to do. What should be the news is the MILLIONS of sharks senselessly slaughtered every year just to make a stupid soup that men think improves their libido. One of the most important links to the ocean Eco system is being destroyed by the foolhardiness of man.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • HawaiiWahine

      Fortean, thank you for bringing this up. Clarkson, himself, per a friend quoted in an Australian article, would not want a sharks killed as a consequence of his actions.

      February 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BRODY

    i like soup

    February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DaceDoesDallas

    Bow we need to hunt these 2 shark down and kill them! HOW DARE THEY!

    February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaceDoesDallas


      February 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce Smith

    I like dead shark soup.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bruce Smith

    The real issue here is that there are not enough dentists out there to take care of all the sharks.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Quint

    Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BRODY

    here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women

    February 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bruce Smith

    Holy cows lose their lunches.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BRODY

    MRS. BRODY – where is my dinner??????

    February 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    If his standard practice was to dress up so that he looks like a seal, (a dark wetsuit will do the trick) then swims around an abalone bed (seals eat abalone) where sharks are likely to be prowling for seals, and he's not in a cage, then my only question would be to wonder how he lived as long as he did. It's like they say in Australia, "Some days you get the abalone, and some days the shark gets you." Well, if they don't say that, they should, 'cause it's true.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BRODY

    fosters....australian for beer

    February 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Great White Shark

      Humans....Australian for yummmmmmmmmmm

      February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce Smith

    Where is PETA when you need them?

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