A diver collecting abalone near Coffin Bay in South Australia was yesterday attacked and taken by two great white sharks, according to the only witness, boat skipper Howard Rodd.
Peter Clarkson, a professional abalone diver who divided his time between Esperance on the Western Australian south west coast, and South Australia, was fishing for abalone south of Perforated Island near Coffin bay, when he was attacked.
Clarkson has just surfaced and heading toward the boat when the sharks struck. Skipper Rodd, who witnessed the attack said “I saw the beast come up and take him. There’s no way he could have survived.”
Mr Rodd raised the alarm over the radio, then returned to shore alone, where paramedics treated him for shock. Fisherman and shark experts have indicated that shark numbers in the area, particularly great whites have increased significantly this year, with a much greater number of sightings and large sharks harassing fishing boats.
Police have suspended the search for Peter Clarkson saying:
Police together with Fisheries, SES and other government agencies searched the area which was made difficult due to the treacherous conditions. The search included ground crews checking the beach areas of the national park. The search is planned to resume at first light on Saturday 19th February.