Jim Abernethy's peers had warned him to stop his South Florida company's shark-diving excursions. They said his practice of taking divers to open waters, dumping chum to bait the beasts and then sending in divers without a steel cage would prove deadly someday.
This past weekend, it did.
Austrian lawyer Markus Groh, 49, died from a shark mauling he suffered Sunday in the ocean off Great Isaac Cay in the Bahamas. Doctors at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital were unable to save him after he was brought there by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.
Groh, two friends and several other Austrians were diving off the Shear Water, a 70-foot charter boat owned and operated by Abernethy's Scuba Adventures in Riviera Beach. Groh was apparently bitten in the leg, though the Miami-Dade County medical examiner's office is still investigating.