A day in the ocean turned deadly for this much-loved high school teacher

Sam Kellett died on Saturday after a great white shark attacked him






It was glorious day on Saturday in the Yorke Peninsula.

28-year old Sam Kellett was out spearfishing with friends.

He was part of a group due to compete in a spearfishing competition the next day and they were getting in a little practice.

The ocean, a group of mates and the freedom that comes with being twenty-eight and loving life.

There must have been moments that day when they wondered whether things could get any better.

But tragically fate was to be unkind to this much-loved schoolteacher.

The Australian reported that the teacher, who had only been free diving and spear fishing for a year, had been with seven others who were preparing to get out of the water and on to a shallow reef. “They were within 10m of each other and two of them were very close to Sam,” his friend Jonathan Hammond told the newspaper. “The shark came, and they saw it attack and there was a lot of blood in the water. There was nothing they could do.”

Sam Kellett was killed.

His family have said he would not support a shark cull

His death came at a time of great controversy in Western Australia over the state government’s shark cull policy.

Animal activists around the world have protested over what they say is sheer unnecessary animal cruelty.

But they have a surprising ally with the family of Sam Kellett releasing a statement saying that he would not support a shark cull.

“Despite the manner in which Sam was killed, he had a great love of the ocean environment and had respect for sharks.” the statement said.


“He knew he was a visitor in their backyard, and the last thing he would want is for this shark, or any other, to be hunted down and culled.”

Sam Kellett’s family joining a riding tide of shark attack victims and families who oppose the cull.

Just last month Paul de Gelder, a navy clearance diver who lost a leg and a forearm in a shark attack on Sydney Harbour in 2009 wrote a blog critisising the Western Australian shark cull.

The Navy diver turned motivational speaker called the Barnett Government’s plan ‘flawed’. He described it as stupid and a knee jerk reaction

Paul de Gelder,

The Guardian recently reported that:

“Since 2000, there have been 11 fatal shark attacks in WA, the highest rate of shark attacks in the world (the chance of being attacked has doubled in that time, but still remains low at one in a million). It’s on the minds of every West Australian when they enter the ocean. University of Western Australia researchers believe the increase has more to do with an explosion in Perth’s population than shark numbers.”

While the shark cull debate continues the family of Sam Kellett prepare to farewell him.

The national media reported his death over the weekend– but at the request of his family withheld his name.

They did not want his students to hear about the death of their beloved teacher in the news. They wanted the school to tell them.

Yesterday morning after the student body arrived at school the Principal informed them that the man making the headlines – the latest shark victim- was, in fact, their teacher.

Principal Wendy Johnson spoke of his love of teaching.

“He was full of life and wickedness and excitement and was great to have around the school.” The Advertiser reported that she said.

“We were very lucky to have him here … he was very special.”