Tragedy has struck the family of the documentary filmmaker behind “Sharkwater.” Sharkwater was an informative conservationist film that detailed the hazardous effects of hunting sharks and the practice of “shark finning” that endangered several species of sharks. It also touched on an illegal shark trade that was ongoing in certain parts of the world. The film was both a commercial and political success, as it led to the eventual prohibition of shark finning. Sadly, the world lost the man behind the film, Rob Stewart, in a diving accident while filming what was supposed to be the sequel to the documentary.
The Stewart Family’s Wrongful Death Case
It was a tragedy that could have been prevented, according to the Stewart family’s attorney. Stewart was filming for his new documentary off the coast of Florida. He was investigating a shipwreck for potential footage for the film, when himself, and his diving instructor, Peter Sotis, began experiencing difficulties with their new equipment. The pair were allegedly making use of “rebreather” equipment which recycled the oxygen from their exhales. Sotis and Stewart were on their way up to the surface, but only Sotis emerged, and Stewart had disappeared. He was found, three days later, submerged close to where he was attempting surface.
The Stewart family has since filed a wrongful death claim over their late son. Defendants named in their claim include Horizon Dive Adventures, Add Helium LLC, and diving instructors Peter ad Claudia Sotis, who managed both the diving agency and the equipment used. The family’s attorney has gone on to state that for Peter Sotis, as an instructor, to surface before Stewart, the student, was a “cardinal sin” of the diving industry.
The family has not specified any damage amounts, however, they have stated that while they do not want this event to discourage people from diving, they want to send a message to the diving industry to take greater care and safety. They believe Stewart’s death could have been avoided under different, and more careful circumstances. In spite of the loss of their son, the Stewart family wishes to carry on his legacy and complete the filming and production for the sequel to his original film, and dedicate it to his legacy.
Wrongful death cases can be especially complex and are often fraught with the grieving family’s feelings of loss and sadness. While no amount of compensation or punitive action can bring back a loved one, it is often a family’s way of making sure that such an incident does not affect anyone else.
Contact a Macon, Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney
IF you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Gautreaux Law Firm today.