Dion Edmunds, Abalone Diver, South Australia

Ever since my brother Damon had a very bad encounter with a very large Great White at Purdie Island in 1996, we have looked into any way of avoiding another encounter with Great White Sharks. We started out by using an underwater cage unit which we found very restrictive and unsuitable for our working environment, therefore found we still needed to dive freely on hookah gear most working days.

When we saw the first Shark POD* unit on the market, we looked into the type of protection it could provide us. We decided to purchase the first model which wasn’t quite what we expected, as we needed to use a unit which had a power source on the boat and a hard wire attached to the dive hose. This unit proved unworkable, as the hard wire was too heavy for our air hose and caused it to sink to the bottom and constantly became caught on rocks, reef etc. Therefore we basically used it as a safety unit, which we kept in the boat, so it could be used in the event of another problem.

The day came when I was diving in approx. 35-40 feet off Flinders Island in low visibility, and had been in the water for about 1.5 hours. I was inflating a parachute when a Great White shark, approximately 10 feet in length, approached me. I laid flat on the bottom until Damon got the message to send the Shark POD down to me. I had seen the shark pass very close by five times in about 30 minutes, before the POD was sent down to me, switched on. I stayed on the bottom for another 15 minutes before I felt confident enough to break for the surface. From the moment the POD was in the water, I never saw the shark again. Since the Oz PODS have been available we (my brother Damon and I) have used these every time we enter the water and have found it gives us confidence to dive in most places, without the encumbrance of a cage. We have come to trust and rely on the Shark POD.

*Shark POD is an old obsolete product and no longer in production

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