Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeScuba DivingShark Shield comes to defence

Shark Shield comes to defence has receiveda letter sent around to dive shops, distributors and retailers from SharkShield, the company that manufactures a shark deterring device that wasreported by the media to have allegedly failed during a dive in Australia. Previous media reports said that thevictim of the dive was a Jarrod Stehbens, whose Shark Shield had been bittenoff his body while diving off Glenelg in South Australia in 2005.  The letter received  from Shark Shield  provides a full explanation of the actual events taken place.

It is said that Jarrod Stehbens wasdiving in the employ of the University of Adelaide and they hadshark shields (DIVE01) on the boat but were not using them. Shark Shield hassaid that the Attorney of the University is attempting to discredit SharkShield as it may be found during the trial that the University simply failed intheir duty of care.

The letter suggests that Mr. Stehbens was not actuallywearing one on the day of his fatal dive. It also implies that a Universityemployee in charge of OH&S issues relating to diving had previouslyquestioned the products effectiveness and advised against their use.

Shark Shieldhave written in their letter that the Adelaide University (AU) sent adelegation to their company following the incident to inform them that theperson involved with this OH&S issue was no longer working in that capacityand AU has developed a SharkShield use policy.

Shark Shield have allegedly been accused of a number offaulty areas with their product, to which they vehemently deny and explain intheir letter.


1. “Run timeonly four hours” – NOT TRUE

This refersto an uninformed statement that our new generation product (FREEDOM 7) has onlya run time of 4 hours and thus the figure 7 misrepresents the run time.

We havenever had a run time of 4 hours with the FREEDOM 7 unit, the literature states6 to 7 hours and this is what it is. Please understand that this product wasreleased some 18 months after the shark attack incident and has no relevance tothe incident and has only been used to discredit our company.

2. “Modelthat was eaten by shark in South Africa had malfunctioned” – NOT TRUE

Our productsundergo stringent testing by the Natal Sharks Board of South Africa (NSB). Noproduct can be released without the sanctioning of the NSB and it is commonpractice for us to test various innovations in order that we advance ourproducts.

In triallingone having a different antenna, a number of tests were carried out, with theantenna attached to a floating tube on the surface in choppy wave conditions.In order for the waveform to be correctly discharged in the water theelectrodes in the antenna must be submerged. Predictably in this particulartest the shark was not repelled. It cannot be said that the unit malfunctioned.The model was not eaten by a shark. These tests were part of a controlledscientific trial and every scenario must be tested including worst casescenarios in order to get valid results. These results can then be taken intoaccount in the final design and operating procedures. The unit performed verywell against sharks when the antenna was in a vertical submerged position.

For a full account of the letter received, which is aneffort made my Shark Shield to dispel any wrong accounts of the attackdisplayed by the media, readers may email for a copy.

Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for She is based in Dubai.