Shark Attacks Dive Operator

Thursday 27th, January 2011 / 09:01 Published by

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A local dive boat operator is recovering after he was attacked by a shark off the coast of Grand Bahama Island and it’s not the first time his company has made headlines.

Jim Abernathy was transported by Coast Guard helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center with a bite to his arm. The attack happened Wednesday morning about 18-miles north of West End. It is believed that Abernathy, 55, was hurt during one of his charters.

According to the Website, Jim Abernathy’s Scuba Adventures specialize in hammerhead and tiger shark expeditions. Back in 2008, an Austrian tourist lost his life when he was mulled by a shark during an excursion sponsored by Abernathy’s company.

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7 Comments on “Shark Attacks Dive Operator

  • Jim needs to be arrested, his is a reckless self promoter who is NOT Bahamian, does not add to our economy, and who gets divers killed and bitten in OUR waters.

    Does the Bahamas need this?

    Reply
  • Bahamas Needs Sharks

    I support efforts by the BNT to make the Bahamas a shark sanctuary and the “local” shark dive operators.

    As for Jim?

    He needs to be arrested. He was served a cease and desist in 2008 before one of his divers was killed by a baited bull shark, and now another shark attack? The Bahamas does not need this kind of bad press and we keep getting it from one guy in Florida. If he will not honor the BDA’s safe diver requests and keeps getting attacked, he needs to go.

    He is not a conservationist, and does not care about the Bahamas or our tourism, he does care about our sharks because he was kicked out of Florida in 2001.

    He can go to Cuba and destroy their shark tourism but he needs to leave Bahamas waters now!

    Reply
  • As far as being bitten goes this is Jims second shark attack. The first one he kept quiet but is well known in Palm Beach, Fl where he resides. Some us are trying to get Jim to understand the damage he is causing both to the sharks and to the Bahamas Tourism. He runs a safe operation but he could be safer.

    Reply
  • Revoke Coast Guard Licenses!

    The US Coast Guard licensing authority, and all SCUBA cerfying agencies; and call upon them to revoke the CG licenses, and leadership level scuba certifications granted to (as well as uninspected vessel certifications for vessels owned by) Jim Abernathy and his company.

    A US Coast Guard Master license, as well as an uninspected vessel certification is a priviledge granted by the US Coast Guard, and remains the property of the US Government (much like a passport); and such documention may be revoked by the US Government at any time. All US citizen tax-payers who are concerned about the environment, about protecting sensitive species in our coastal waters, have a right to voice their opinion and compel our public servants to protect the environment from abuse by the very few incompetent, uneducated, and unscrupulous self-serving members of the recreational dive industry who should be restricted from such activities or be booted out of the business altogether.

    Business people who conduct themselves this way for profit and personal gain, and who demonstrate such poor stewardship of our sensitive planet’s environment and resources should be restricted from engaging in these activities for commercial purposes. They are profiting financially from the abject suffering they impose on marine animals for the sheer entertainment of a few equally uneducated and inept underwater tourists who are interested in nothing more than a cheap thrill and a few “ego-shot” photos of themselves alongside a tiger shark.

    Stop this ridiculous activity at once and let’s get these ongoing man made shark attacks of our precious oceans and off the taxpayers backs.

    Reply
  • There are thousands of safe interactions with sharks in the Bahamas every month. One shark feeder in two years has created one death and now one bite. Only one, and each time the Bahamas suffers from the negative publicity.

    Jim Abernathy is based om Florida, not the Bahamas. He does not buy supplies from local merchants, or fuel, or pay taxes here.

    He takes tourists from Florida into our waters, makes a mess then leaves.

    Reply
  • Abernethy, a well-known dive operator and shark enthusiast, is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2008, Markus Groh, a lawyer and avid diver from Austria, died from a shark bite while on a trip led by Abernethy.

    Before the Groh incident, Abernethy had been warned in a letter which went to all dive companies operating in the Bahamas, to cease and desist “conducting open-water non-cage shark diving experiences with known species of potentially dangerous sharks, such as tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, lemon sharks & mako sharks.”

    The letter, written by Neal Watson, president of the Bahamas Dive Association, went on to say “some dive operators have chosen to disregard standard safe-diving practices as it relates to interactions with tiger sharks and other potentially dangerous species of sharks, in various locations within the waters of The Islands of The Bahamas.”

    In an interview, Watson said “there’s not a shark expert in the world that would put divers in the water, with chum, specifically to attract bull, tiger and hammerhead sharks, without a cage. That’s putting people’s lives at risk”

    Watson said Abernethy’s “cowboy” operation “refused to comply” with his cease and desist recommendation.

    Reply
  • bahama shark divers

    When is the BDA going to wake up?

    Abernethy, a well-known dive operator and shark enthusiast, is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2008, Markus Groh, a lawyer and avid diver from Austria, died from a shark bite while on a trip led by Abernethy.

    Before the Groh incident, Abernethy had been warned in a letter which went to all dive companies operating in the Bahamas, to cease and desist “conducting open-water non-cage shark diving experiences with known species of potentially dangerous sharks, such as tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, lemon sharks & mako sharks.”

    The letter, written by Neal Watson, president of the Bahamas Dive Association, went on to say “some dive operators have chosen to disregard standard safe-diving practices as it relates to interactions with tiger sharks and other potentially dangerous species of sharks, in various locations within the waters of The Islands of The Bahamas.”

    Now this?

    Reply

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