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Shark Shield Device Fails, Becomes Shark Food

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 3 comments

Adelaide (Australia) - An anti-shark device became shark food after it failed spectacularly in the waters near South Africa. This shocking (ok maybe not so shocking) information came to light during an inquest held in South Australia over the death of a swimmer who was wearing the same device. The Shark Shield device promises to repel sharks with pulses of electromagnetic waves, but some people think it is high-tech snake oil.

Sold for 765 AUD, the Shark Shield consists of a battery and an electrode that you wear on your tank or body. The electrode puts out an invisible 'shield' of electromagnetic waves that supposedly cause muscle spasm in sharks that get within five to eight meters. Sharks have tiny pores in their nose area that detect EM fields and the inventor of the Shark Shield says the shark feels like it is listening to cranked up speakers.

Rod Hartley, director of Sea Change Technology and makers of the Shark Shield told the inquest panel that the device does not attract attracts. However, the company seems to be hedging their bets in their online FAQ by saying, "However, it must be remembered that all sharks are dangerous and unpredictable creatures, and therefore a 100% guarantee cannot be given. It is impossible to guarantee that all sharks will be deterred under all circumstances."

The Shark Shield failure in South Africa happened after researchers activated the device on a test raft that was carrying some boat. A 3.6 meter-long female shark then ate the device.

A quick look at several diving and surfing forums show that many people do wear the device and are quite happy with how it works. Other wearers says they haven't notice any changes in shark behavior and that the sharks initially seemed to be attracted to the swimmer.

The inquest is being run by South Australia's Deputy State Coroner Tony Schapel. Mr. Schapel is investigating the death of Jarod Stehbens who presumably died by shark attack two years ago while wearing two Shark Shield devices. Stehbens' body has never been found.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 9, 2011 4:15 AM
    To Whom it May Concern,

    Informatoin presented here is not correct, it is clearly stated in the coroners findings of Jarod Stebhens death that he was not wearing a shark sheild device. I have no interest either way or the other in the matter, however simply expect people who post such informatoin do so accaurately.
    For anyone wishing verification on this matter they can go to webpage,

    http://www.courts.sa.gov.au/courts/coroner/findings/findings_2008/stebhens.finding.htm

    for the accurate story.

    regards,
    Joshua Fergusson
  • -1 Hide
    Proximon , September 9, 2011 6:18 AM
    I'm not sure what prompted you to bring up a news item over 3 years old, but I thank you for the sad and interesting read.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 31, 2013 12:45 AM
    In actual fact the diver did NOT wear a shark shield. See below extraction from the enquiry:

    "Neither diver was wearing an electrical device known as a shark shield at the time.

    Mr Rowntree told the court he believed there was a "low risk" of encountering a Great White shark off Adelaide's suburban beaches.

    "Sometimes we would have a bit of a joke about it, just knowing that they are out there," he said.

    Mr Rowntree said while he was unaware there were shark shields on the boat, he probably would not have worn one anyway.

    "The ones that existed, that apparently were on the boat at the time were big cumbersome things," he said.

    Mr Rowntree said the shark shields were "annoying" to wear and often gave divers small electric shocks underwater.

    The court heard that the wearing of shark shields was made compulsory by the university after the tragic attack.

    The inquest before Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel continues."

    Next time get your Facts straight!!!!