Risk­ing lives for a good catch

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Abalone Wars,

“The sto­ries we’re telling are guys’ ver­sions of ro­mance nov­els,” Nancy Dubuc, pres­i­dent of US A & E Net­works, who com­mis­sioned the highly suc­cess­ful Ice Road Truck­ers (about truck driv­ers in the Cana­dian Arc­tic), says of the prom­i­nent genre of ex­treme blue-col­lar re­al­ity TV shows.

“Peo­ple think about leaving the con­fines of the cu­bi­cle, or wher­ever they may be, and see the same traits that their grand­fa­thers and great­grand­fa­thers had grow­ing up. It’s very nostalgic.”

Join­ing the spate of shows that cel­e­brate the adrenalin-fu­elled jobs cov­ered in this hugely suc­cess­ful genre is the sec­ond sea­son of Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s Abalone Wars, in which the hard-core dive crews of Port Lin­coln bat­tle to ful­fil their multi-mil­lion-dol­lar quo­tas, com­pet­ing with oth­ers against the clock and fac­ing a pri­mal, om­nipresent ex­ter­nal threat.

The South­ern Ocean off the tip of South Aus­tralia is home to more sharks per square Abalone Wars me­tre than any­where in the world, and abalone divers there face death every time they en­ter the water in search of the much-prized del­i­cacy.

This sea­son also sees some of the big­gest swells to hit the penin­sula, strik­ing for weeks on end, the crews, forced to en­dure too many lost days at sea, push­ing them­selves into ocean con­di­tions they would nor­mally avoid.

Amanda Bichard and her un­cle Car­ri­son tackle the no­to­ri­ous Reef Head, chas­ing thou­sands of dol­lars’ worth of black-lipped abalone. “You learn to re­spect the sea when you see it like this,” Car­ri­son says as they pre­pare the dive.

On an­other boat, Neil Rodd is strug­gling to re­turn to the dive after a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence with two great white sharks, while his diver is two-time shark at­tack sur­vivor Greg Pick­er­ing, a man car­ry­ing a load of per­sonal dilem­mas. Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Dis­cov­ery.

Neil Rodd, who suf­fered a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence while div­ing, fea­tures in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.