August 25, 2005

Don’t hunt shark, say missing diver’s parents

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The parents of an Australian marine
biologist attacked and presumed killed by a shark said on
Thursday they did not want the shark destroyed, while rescuers
held little hope of finding the man alive.

Jarrod Stehbens, 23, was looking for cuttlefish eggs with
three University of Adelaide colleagues about 5 km (3 miles)
off Glenelg, near the South Australia state capital of
Adelaide, when he was attacked on Wednesday.

"Jarrod was doing exactly what he wanted to do. He loved
the sea, loved anything to do with water, boats, and helping
out other people," Stehbens' distraught father David said.

A search for Stehbens resumed at first light on Thursday.

"Horrific injuries would have been inflicted and there's
little chance of finding the person alive," police
superintendent Jim Jeffrey told reporters.

Two men were in the water when the shark struck. Colleagues
hauled the second man into the boat but the shark used its
snout to push the first diver back into the water.

The man's shocked colleagues were unable to save him. All
they found was his oxygen tank and a buoyancy vest.

Last December, an 18-year-old surfer was killed near
Glenelg by what witnesses said was a great white shark. David
Stehbens said he had discussed that attack with his son, who
was aware of the risks of diving in the area.

"He was a marine biologist, he wouldn't want anything
killed," he told reporters.

Local shark experts say the latest attack was most likely
also by a great white. A fisherman expressed surprise that
people would dive in areas where such sharks are known to be

"There's plenty of sharks out there," Keith Klamasz told
Australian radio. "The last thing I would be doing is jumping
in the water."

The latest presumed death is the fifth from a shark attack
in South Australia since 2000.

Most recently a tourist boat captain was bitten in half as
he snorkeled off the remote west coast in March.

Australia's first documented shark attack was in 1791.
There have been more than 625 attacks in the past 200 years,
about 190 of them fatal.