07/134/2014 – John Petty – Bahamas

Postby alb » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:09 pm

Search ends for Texas doctor who disappeared while shark-diving in the Bahamas after search crews find dive gear near where he was last seen
63-year-old Doctor John Petty was last seen Sunday as he entered the water near Tiger Beach
Tiger Beach is a popular location for shark divers because of its large number of tiger sharks
Petty was part of an eight-person dive excursion but never surfaced with the other divers
On Wednesday, the Coast Guard said it discovered dive gear it believes to be Petty’s near where he was last seen alive
No body has been recovered

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The search for a well-liked Texas doctor who was reported missing after not surfacing following a shark-diving excursion in the Bahamas over the weekend has ended, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Wednesday.

No body has been recovered, but search crews found dive and camera equipment they believe belonged to 63-year-old chiropractor John E. Petty, who also was an avid photographer.

Petty was part of a multi-day shark-diving excursion near Tiger Beach, a well-known spot for commercial shark-diving operations.

Disappeared: The search for Texas Doctor John Petty was called off Wednesday after search crews found dive gear near where he was last seen
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Disappeared: The search for Texas Doctor John Petty was called off Wednesday after search crews found dive gear near where he was last seen
Eight other divers were part of the excursion, where the water is baited with chum to attract sharks, and divers enter the water without the safety of shark cages.

On Sunday, when the other members of the excursion surfaced after a dive, Petty wasn’t amongst them.

Shear Water, the 65-foot vessel used to transport divers to the dive site, issued a distress call to alert the Coast Guard that Petty was missing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer John-Paul Rios said Wednesday that a ‘substantial amount’ of dive gear had been found within the search area, but it could not be immediately confirmed that the gear belonged to the missing man.

Tiger Beach: Tiger Beach in the Bahamas is a popular location for shark-divers, who often get in the water without cages

‘The family would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and prayers on behalf of John Petty.

The U.S. Coast Guard has ceased its search as of 11:00 a.m., today,’ Petty’s family said in a statement given to KETK. ‘After the Bahamian Government studied the items recovered in numerous searches, it has been determined that a shark attack was the cause.

A memorial service is being planned and details will be posted later today. Thank you all again.’

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Jim Abernathy, who runs the Florida-based dive company that Petty hired for the excursion, is well-known in the world of shark diving. The website grindtv.com describes him as a ‘controversial figure among the commercial shark-diving fraternity.’

‘Controversial’: Shark-diving professional Jim Abernathy was bitten by a shark during a 2011 dive

In 2008, a participant in one of Abernathy’s excursions was fatally attacked by a shark during a dive. In 2011, Abernathy himself was bitten by a shark. He survived after being airlifted to a Florida hospital.

SharkDiver.com’s Patric Douglas describes Tiger Beach as ‘an ongoing lab experiment.’

‘Tiger Beach has been a long running experiment with large predatory sharks and a number of “firsts” for the cageless shark-diving industry,’ he writes on the website. ‘First to night dive with these sharks, first to hand-feed these animals, first to film a woman dressed as a mermaid with baited sharks, first to stand tigers on their noses for paying customers in a controversial shark interaction called “tonic shark.” There are few animal interaction boundaries that have not been explored at this remote and well-known shark site.’

Read more: http://www.dailymai

 

We hate to add bits of information to the incidents here.1. In the International Shark Attack File for 2014 attack summary this incident will not be listed as an attack, fatility.
2. The 2008 fatality on the same boat with the same captain where another diver was killed is currently not listed.
3. If we listen to 90 % of our shark experts out there. This couldn’t have been a shark if the person was alive or dead “Sharks do not like the taste of Humans”