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Re: 08/24/2005 Jarrod Stebhens (Australia) ***Fatal***
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:20 am
I saw huge shark kill my mate, diver tells Coroner's
ANDREW DOWDELL, COURT REPORTER
February 25, 2008 12:00pm
A FORMER University of Adelaide student today relived the horrific shark attack which claimed the life of his 23-year old diving partner Jarrod Stehbens.
Researcher Justin Rowntree appeared in the Coroner's Court where he described the fatal Great White attack at Glenelg in August 2005.
"I was looking at Jarrod when I felt a whack on the back which rotated me around," Mr Rowntree said.
"Initially I thought it was a dolphin but pretty quickly I realised it was not."
Mr Stehbens, a "highly experienced diver" then fought for his life against the five-metre Great White shark.
"It went straight towards Jarrod, initially he whacked it directly on the snout and it seemed to go away momentarily," Mr Rowntree said.
"Then it came back and took his leg and dragged him under ... it happened like a flash."
The university students were almost finished their dive for cuttlefish eggs at the widely-used Glenelg Tyre Reef when the shark attacked.
Mr Rowntree said the fatal dive would have been Mr Stehbens' last in South Australia before he went to live in Germany.
Neither diver was wearing an electrical device known as a shark shield at the time.
Mr Rowntree told the court he believed there was a "low risk" of encountering a Great White shark off Adelaide's suburban beaches.
"Sometimes we would have a bit of a joke about it, just knowing that they are out there," he said.
Mr Rowntree said while he was unaware there were shark shields on the boat, he probably would not have worn one anyway.
"The ones that existed, that apparently were on the boat at the time were big cumbersome things," he said.
Mr Rowntree said the shark shields were "annoying" to wear and often gave divers small electric shocks underwater.
The court heard that the wearing of shark shields was made compulsory by the university after the tragic attack.
The inquest before Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel continues.
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/stor ... 01,00.html
08/24/2005 Jarrod Stebhens (Australia) ***Fatal***
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:54 am
Shark attacks research diver
Wednesday, August 24, 2005; Posted: 7:41 p.m. EDT (23:41 GMT)
Expert suspects shark was a great white or bronze whaler.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- A marine researcher is missing and presumed dead after he was attacked by a shark off a popular beach near the southern Australian city of Adelaide, police said.
Two researchers from Adelaide University were diving to collect cuttlefish eggs Wednesday when the shark attacked.
Two other people in the research team's boat saw the shark coming and managed to haul one diver to safety, but they could not prevent the second diver from being attacked about two kilometers (1.25 miles) off Glenelg Beach just after 4 p.m. (6.30 a.m. GMT).
"One person had made it back to the boat and the other person is missing," Police Inspector Colin Cunningham said.
Police in boats scoured the sea where the attack occurred and found the missing diver's oxygen tank and buoyancy vest, but they gave up the hunt for his body as night fell.
The search resumed at first light Thursday with 12 boats. Local newspapers identified the victim as Jarrod Stehbens.
Acting Police Superintendent Jim Jeffery said it was "very doubtful that we will find the person alive."
One man managed to scramble back into the boat in time, Jeffery said, but the one who "was still underwater, he was taken."
No information on the type of shark involved was immediately available.
Bob Hill, Adelaide University's head of earth and environmental sciences, said he knew the four, and all were experienced divers.
"I'm actually quite proud of the three of them from what I have heard ... they made every attempt they could to do the right thing," Hill said.
A local shark expert, Andrew Fox, speculated that the shark responsible likely was a great white.
"As far as determining the species of shark, it's very likely that, other than a bronze whaler shark, the great white shark is really the only large predatory shark that's capable of actually taking a diver," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
The feared species is common in the cold waters off Australia's southern coast and also was blamed for a fatal attack on an 18-year-old surfer at a beach near Glenelg in December last year.
The last fatal shark attack in Australian waters was reported in March, when a 6-meter (20-foot) great white shark tore a man in half, killing him instantly as he snorkeled off the west coast.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:55 am
August 26, 2005
Shark attack kills marine biologist
From Roger Maynard in Sydney
THE diving companion of a marine biologist killed by a shark off the coast of South Australia last night described how the victim tried to free himself from the jaws of the predator as it dragged him into deep water.
The two men had been collecting cuttlefish eggs off Glenelg Beach, near Adelaide, when the shark, presumed to be a great white, began circling them. Justin Rowntree, who had been diving with Jarrod Stehbens, a University of Adelaide colleague, said: “I thought it was a dolphin, It just nudged my side and I looked around [and saw] just a big white mass.”
As the pair resurfaced and tried to return to their boat, the shark repeatedly used its snout to force Mr Stehbens, 23, under the water. Two researchers helped Mr Rowntree aboard the boat, but they watched in horror as the shark took hold of their colleague and dragged him under. Mr Stehbens was seen calmly trying to free his leg from the shark’s jaws.
“Jarrod fought it off initially and then it came back again and grabbed his leg and just took him deeper,” Mr Rowntree said. Police later found an oxygen tank and a buoyancy vest, but last night called off their search for the victim’s body and the killer shark.
Mr Stehben’s parents said that their son would not have wanted the shark to be hunted down and killed. The attack occurred less than a mile from the spot where a teenage surfer was killed by a shark in December. It was the fifth fatal attack in the region since 2000.
Local fishermen criticised the divers for swimming in an area renowned for sharks and where many anglers used bait likely to arouse the predators. The attack renewed calls for a lifting of a ban on shark hunting that has led to a recovery of the Australian shark population.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:55 am
Another Adelaide shark attack
August 28, 2005
Reporter : Anthony Hoy
"I was nudged on my side and I looked around just a big white mass. And yeah, Jarrod fought it off initially and then it came back again and grabbed his leg and just took him deeper and he seemed quite calm and he was trying to get his leg out of its mouth." Justin Rowntree talking about his mate and fellow marine biologist, Jarrod Stehbens, who was taken by a shark off the coast of Glenelg, South Australia.
Also on the diving team, Melita De Vries, who said it was all over in seconds: "Next instant there was a commotion in the water... And both of us were facing the other way at the time, we turned back around and saw a tail fin come out of the water and a split second after we went what is it what is it oh my God."
Jarrod managed to release his air tank and float vest, but dozens searched more than 50 square kilometres of ocean in vain. There was no other trace of the 23-year-old marine biologist. Some shark experts said the team should not have been diving in the area — a notorious shark zone that attracts snapper — especially with a big fishing competition going on nearby. One expert, Dave Baxter, said: "I'm just dumbfounded totally why they actually went in the water when there were boats fishing."
'But a marine biologist like would have been aware of the danger. His father, David, said: "He was a very experienced diver, he'd done more than 190 dives, and he knew what it was like, he knew what the environment was like."
Last December, 18-year-old Nick Petersen, was killed by two giant white sharks only a few kilometres away ... As he jumped from the back of a boat.
As Sunday reported earlier this year Scientists have suggested that tour operators feeding sharks from their boats have got the mammals used to humans ... Some those in the front wave, abalone divers, also have their doubts. Dave Buckland told Anthony Hoy: "I just think it encourages sharks to interact with boats a bit more, I'm not dead against it but I do think it encourages sharks to come up to a boat with a bit more confidence."
He also said he saw a shark earlier this year while diving for abalone in about 40 feet of water, and "it definitely wasn't scared of me."
Buckland lost his brother who was scallop diving off Smoky Bay in South Australia: "I don't know what happened but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and he got taken by a four to five metre shark and obviously it has been a horrible experience and something that I'll never forget."
And another abalone diver from Port Lincoln in South Australia, Kim Penalurick, believes the sharks have become more aggressive: "This is the sixth one I've seen and usually they are a bit more docile when they come up to you. They still give you a nasty shock but this one just came past and gave a couple of quick kicks with its tail and just seemed agitated … it's just a feeling you get from the animal…"
Meanwhile back in Adelaide, the family of Jarrod Stebhens are mourning their loved one. "Jarrod was doing exactly what he wanted to do when this happened. He loved the sea, loved anything to do with water, boats and helping out other people. He was helping them on their projects."
But both family and friends said he wouldn't want the shark killed. Bayden Russell, the other one of the divers who survived the shark attack, said: "Jarrod would be absolutely appalled that anyone would be proposing that, he loved the marine environment. It was what he loved."