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diver attacks great white...

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Not Available in Stores
May 28, 2002
so who wants to be a "tuna wrangler?"...check out the attached photo...

Diver attacks great white
DEAN "Deano" Stefanek spent 30 minutes battling an enraged 6m great white shark – and lived.

The South Australian tuna diver has told how he volunteered to jump into a tuna pen to try to kill the injured shark.

"Somebody had to do it, no one else was too keen, so I went in," Mr Stefanek, 38, said.

The struggle took place recently at a tuna farm off the coast of Mexico and the tale of the Aussie who "wrestled" the fearsome fish has spread.

Mr Stefanek, who returned to Port Lincoln this month after a six-month contract working on Mexican tuna farms, played down his feat.

"It was one of those things that just happened," he said. "The shark had got in by biting its way through the bottom of the net after detecting a couple of dead fish.

"There was just no way we could get it out, so the decision to kill it was made and some blokes shot it – but no way it would die.

"It started to get messy and I jumped into the water and swam outside the net so I could shoot it with a power head (spear-fitted with a shotgun cartridge)."

The white pointer became enraged and began thrashing around the 45m tuna net.

"Someone had to go in," Mr Stefanek said. "I was the most experienced diver there and no one else was too keen, so I went inside the net.

"The shark saw me and went berserk. I tried to kill it quickly and fired at its head, which only stunned it.

"I fired eight more times and it kept coming back and thrashing. I think it was then that I started to get a bit scared.

"Another diver could see I was in trouble and came inside the net – we figured we were not going to kill it and I thought we'll have to drag it out."

Mr Stefanek surfaced and called for a rope and pulley and dived again to tie a rope around the shark's tail.

While the fish was distracted with another diver, Mr Stefanek looped and knotted its tail and signalled to start winching.

"It was after I looked at it on the boat I realised it was huge," he said. "No one there had ever seen a shark so big and there were a few stunned and amazed looks.

"The great pity was it had to be killed – particularly as it was wounded.

"I know they (great whites) are becoming extinct. But there is only one of me and it could have made me extinct very quickly."


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Jeeezzzz That thing is huge.

So much for the bit of confidence\Hope that a powerhead gives you hey ?

Has any of you guys actually fired a powerhead at a shark yet ?
What was the result ?

Cheers Reinier
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How would you feel if your buddy would suggest "Hey listen, why do you not try to distract that 6m totally pissed off wildly trashing and panicing GWS while I'm trying to catch its tail with this wee noose?"


This is just too much!!! *LOL*

Stuff of legends I say!

Safe dives,

I preffer heroic, rather than idiocy. The reason of it, well if someone who doesn't aware of what is GWS and jumps the water immediatelly then he is idot but i think he is well aware of what he was doing.

But sometimes in someplaces there is only thin line between heroism and idiocy. So opinions may be alters...
Powerheading an endangered species = idiot.

Here in Oz the Tuna farmers use escape panels to let unwanted visitors out. Because the government won't issue a destruction warrant for a Great White.
Wow, I'm headed to some Great White waters for some diving next month. Those jaws look scary.
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From what i understood from the article is shark was already wounded and there was not much thing to do with it. :hmm
insanity rules!!!!!!!!!!!!

@sssssssshole, sorry for my BAD english:naughty

How big are the changes for a powerhead to backfire;)

I was thinking dynamite would have been a safer option, but then I work with explosives for a living. I think Shadow has a much better idea with the escape panel, though.
Someone just "had to go in" huh? I DON'T THINK SO. There's a real fine line between Bravado and complete stupidity. I'm leaning heavy on the latter.
Troy S said:
Someone just "had to go in" huh? I DON'T THINK SO. There's a real fine line between Bravado and complete stupidity. I'm leaning heavy on the latter.

Been holding these thoughts in for over a year, eh?
Tough call.................None of us were there to see the situation. I just find it difficult to believe that anyone could get in the water with a wounded pointer of that size. I think maybe he didn't realise what he was getting himself into until he was well and truly amongst it. unbelievable.
To answer Reiner, I have had to use a power-head a few times and they are quite effective, depending on what round they are chambered for, the mass of the target and where it is hit. I prefer to just get out of the water and move but there has been a few times where that preference was not possible and self-preservation was a priority. I hate the 12gauge powerheads as they are extremely heavy and cumbersome. I use a .357 Magnum powerhead and it has great penetration and hitting power. I have used a .303 British model too with the projectile cut off flat and it was devastating. Nasty things.
Sharks have been there a lot longer than we have and I would only ever kill one if I had no other option. I am glad, however, that on those occasions I had the means to take self-preserving action.
I am VERY keen to eventually get one of those new shark deterent devices! That would be excellent if they do work well.
Hello people

I do not support killing GWS, but I was not there to see the situation... I think that the owner of the tuna pen should have had the escape panels just like in australia... So my opnion is there should have been an other way to guide the GWS out of the tuna pen...

Butt you have to admit for the two people whom went down there they have Balls. May be it was not the smartest thing to do butt at that time they thought this was the sollution to their problem... I do not think many people would dive in knowing there is a GWS (which is totally pissed) in there..

May be a thing for the future for the tuna pen holder to instal escape panels..

Ciao notis
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