Scuba divers 'were just shark bait'

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Posted by on August 24, 2005 at 17:24:00:

In Reply to: Shark takes marine biologist posted by on August 24, 2005 at 15:41:53:

FISHERMEN who saw yesterday's attack said the divers had made themselves "shark bait".

Local boatie Keith Klemasz, who was in waters near the Glenelg tyre reef, described the divers as "crazy".

"It's very unfortunate but I don't think it's a good idea to dive when you have got a lot of boats out," Mr Klemasz said.

"It's a feeding pattern, if we are all putting berley in the water, that will attract them [sharks]. It is crazy, they were shark bait."

Another fisherman, Alby Dixon, said he was 100m from the university research boat at the time of the attack.

"I saw them diving but I didn't see any sign of distress. We were close and we didn't even realise it had happened," he said.

Mr Klemasz, 57, was fishing about 100m from the students when the shark attacked.

"I didn't see anything at all until all the choppers started flying over us," he said.

Mr Lemasz said he did not see any sharks while he was out fishing.

"[However] there are a lot of sharks out there all the time," he said.

Professor Bob Hill, of the University of Adelaide's school of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the group was collecting cuttle fish eggs and all were accredited divers.

"The school will need to have a very serious look at whether similar activity will continue," he said.

"It appears they made every attempt they could to do the right thing while they were out there.

"They were well aware of the dangers and we have very strict occupational health and safety regulations."

The divers had "been out many times before" doing similar research, he said.

A spokesperson for the university said the survivors would speak about their ordeal at a later date.

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