GW Shark bites shark shield

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15 years 11 months ago #1892 by [email protected]
Slightly disappointing news from The Australian website.

Great white 'ate anti-shark device'

Pia Akerman | March 01, 2008 | The Australian

AN electronic device designed to ward sharks away from surfers failed so spectacularly during a trial off South Africa that it was eaten by a great white.

An inquest heard yesterday the Shark Shield surf model was activated on a float carrying bait when the 3.6m female shark approached. Rather than being deterred by the device, the shark, under the gaze of the Natal Sharks Board, bit into it.

South Australian Deputy State Coroner Tony Schapel yesterday heard of the test failure during the inquest into the death of Jarrod Stehbens, who was taken by a great white shark while diving off Glenelg in South Australia in 2005.

The inquest has turned into a trial of Shark Shield devices, hearing concerns that the electronic fields generated to repel sharks may attract them.

Studying cuttlefish for the University of Adelaide at the time of his death, Stehbens had been provided with two Shark Shields on his dive boat by university staff - but he either didn't know they were there or chose not to use them.

University staff have told Mr Schapel they questioned the Shark Shields' efficacy and believed there might be long-term health risks from using them. As a result, the devices were not compulsory.

Rod Hartley, director of Sea Change Technology, which manufactures the Shark Shields, yesterday took the stand to defend his product.

"There is no doubt whatsoever that it does not attract sharks," he said.

He told Mr Schapel he believed a disgruntled surfer had started the rumour.

"Nobody wearing a Shark Shield has ever been attacked by a shark," he added.

Mr Hartley said the failed South African test on the surf unit - which has been held back from release into the marketplace - was due to a problem with the electrode's configuration. The device was now packaged with a large disclaimer warning it would only repel sharks when the surfer was still in the water waiting for a wave.

"The surf product only can be guaranteed to work when it's stationary, not when it's surfing in the wave or paddling," Mr Hartley said.

CSIRO shark expert Barry Bruce has told the inquest the shark that killed Stehbens was in "full predatory strike" mode and would have been nearly impossible to deter. His body was never recovered.

Mr Schapel will publish his findings at a later date.


We'll contact the manufacturers and see if they really meant: "The surf product only can be guaranteed to work when it's stationary, not when it's surfing in the wave or paddling,"

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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15 years 11 months ago #1893 by [email protected]
I got hold of Paul Lunn, the sales manager at Sharkshield. He said, "The story about a unit being attacked during trials is a heap of kangaroo poo.

We conduct thousands of tests on both field mapping and testing variations of antennas and in this instance we had the antenna attached to a floating pipe on the surface in choppy conditions where either of the electrodes could easily be out of the water and thus not producing a field in the water.

Provided the antenna is not skipping along the surface then all is ok. This is why the antenna is manufactured to be slightly negatively buoyant."

A more detailed response can be found in the attached letter:

www.surfski.info/images/stories/2008/03/...ronial%20Inquest.pdf

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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15 years 1 month ago #2821 by superted
Sales should be going well in Australia at the moment with the media in a frenzy over shark attacks and sightings.

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