Sharkwater was a successful documentary first released in the year 2006 that detailed the effects of shark hunting on the shark populations across the globe, as well as, the illegal shark trading market and poaching of the animals. The movie was a commercial and conservational success, and resulted in the practice of shark-finning being banned across the globe. Due to the high success of the first film, Rob Stewart, the filmmaker set in motion filming for a sequel, which would be called Sharkwater: Extinction. Unforutnately, during the filming process Stewart tragically lost his life.
Stewart and a diving partner were investigating a shipwreck during the filming. When they were surfacing, Stewart’s diving partner and instructor immediately fell unconscious upon boarding the driving crew’s boat, while Stewart himself vanished. Stewart lost his life and was later found close to where he had disappeared, however, his cause of death has not yet officially been determined. These events occurred in late January of this year. Now, two months later his family seeks answers in the form of a lawsuit against several parties they believe contributed to Stewart’s unfortunate death.
The Stewart Family’s Case
Rob Stewart’s parents have since filed a claim naming both Stewart’s diving instructor and diving crew as defendants and parties responsible for Stewart’s death. The lawsuit alleges that this tragedy could have been prevented had they been paying proper attention to Stewart.
In addition to this, Stewart’s instructor had himself and Stewart using new “rebreather” equipment that recycles the oxygen of the diver using their exhaled breath. The family’s attorney has further claimed that the diving instructor committed a negligent act when he allowed himself to get on the boat before Stewart. The diving instructor, Peter Sotis, was experiencing breathing issues and was provided emergency aid, however, Stewart himself went missing and was nowhere to be found during this time. The family believes that if greater care were taken throughout this process, their son would still be alive. They allege that although the diving instructor was cared for, no one searched for or attempted to rescue Stewart.
The while no specific demands for what types of damages the family seeks out have been named, the family has stated they want to ensure that no accident like this ever happens again. Their attorney has further gone on to call the incident a “cardinal sin” for the diving industry and has also stated that the incident and Stewart’s death were “so preventable it’s scary.”
Stewart’s family and fellow friends involved in his film projects have since taken to various social media tributes. The family also intends to carry on with Stewart’s work, and finish the sequel to his film as well. They have also urged the public that although diving is not dangerous, they believe this was a case of extreme irresponsibility.