The inquest came after the shark attack death of an Adelaide University student, Jarrod Stehbens, while diving for cuttlefish eggs off Adelaide in August, 2005. The inquest also found claims that the device caused health problems or attracted sharks were unwarranted.
Paul Lunn, a former KI resident, first introduced the device to Australia through an agency, which was run out of a shed at Island Concrete in Kingscote.
The Shark Shield was originally from South Africa and called the Shark Pod. The Shark Pod was “cumbersome, had a low battery life and components often failed,” Mr Lunn said. The potential market was recognised by Paul and wife Charmaine Zealand. They developed the Shark Shield by making the original smaller, lighter, more reliable and made the battery last longer.
Shark Shield released a statement after the Coroners findings were published, “We are pleased the Coroner has quickly cleared the air and acknowledged the effectiveness of Shark Shields. We still remain concerned that many unfounded allegations aired during the Coronial Inquest could put lives at risk. It would be a terrible tragedy if one more life was lost because divers, surfers or other water user - or their places of employment - had lost faith in such life-saving technology,” Mr Lunn said.
After years of testing and development the Shark Shield is now used by many government departments, police diving squads, professional and amateur divers and surfers as well as being tested for Military use.