DIVING BACK INTO TROUBLED WATERS
DAVID “Bucky” Buckland says Port Lincoln locals used to make fun of the abalone divers, joking about how they all made a fortune working just a couple of months a year.
And that may be true, but it wasn’t until Discovery Channel’s Abalone Wars shone a spotlight on the industry that people realised just how dangerous abalone-diving can be.
The Southern Ocean is home to more sharks per square kilometre than almost anywhere in the world, and Bucky (below) has lost four loved ones – family and friends – to them over the years.
Anyone who has watched the series would wonder why the divers keep risking their lives.
“It’s a pretty good lifestyle – good money, plenty of time off,” Bucky says. “I enjoy diving and I don’t know what else I can do at my age.
“Ask Greg Pickering [who returns for season five after a series away] the same question – I mean, he’s been inside of one [in 2013, a shark bit Pickering on the head and shoulder, and left one of its teeth in his eye].
“There’s no way I’d still be doing it if that happened to me.”
WEDNESDAY, 8.30PM, DISCOVERY CHANNEL