Friends saw shark take diver

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Posted by on August 24, 2005 at 22:07:26:

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

A cuttlefish researcher is presumed dead after a shark took him during a diving trip off Adelaide, despite frantic efforts by his colleagues to save him.

The man and another diver were in the water off Glenelg Beach yesterday when two colleagues aboard a boat saw the shark approach. They hauled one of the men out of the sea, but the shark used its snout to push the second diver back into the water before his friends could grab him, according to a colleague who asked not to be named.

An oxygen tank and a buoyancy vest were later recovered.

Police, who hold slim hopes of finding the man alive, will resume a search for the diver and the shark at first light today after calling off yesterday's search at nightfall.

A 23-year-old marine biologist, identified by media as Jarrod Stehbens, was taken by a shark and thought killed when he was attacked while diving at the reef.

Mr Stehbens was with three University of Adelaide colleagues seeking cuttlefish eggs in the area.

Two of his colleagues tried to fend off the shark while rescuing another diver from the water.

The University of Adelaide's head of earth and environmental sciences, Professor Bob Hill, said he knew the four people involved and all were experienced and accredited 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," he said of the survivors.

Police, who said the type of shark involved in the attack was unknown, recovered the missing diver's air tank and buoyancy vest near the scene of the attack late yesterday.

The attack happened within one kilometre of where 18-year-old surfer Nick Peterson was taken and killed by a great white shark last December at West Beach.

A shark expert, Andrew Fox, said a great white was probably responsible for yesterday's attack.

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