Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Irony alert: anti-shark device eaten by shark

This is funny in that ha-ha-it's-ironic-even-though-it-revolves-around-something-pretty-horrible way. Apparently a new anti-shark device that "works" by causing involuntary contraction of the muscles in a shark's body does not work in the sense that it actually attracts sharks and then causes them to eat it.

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.