Ron Zangari was the deckhand aboard Riversong when Sydney divers Ron Taylor & Ben Cropp wrote to him with an inquiry as to how they might get to the outer barrier reef.
The result was, Ron and Ben made two exciting trips aboard the Riversong with Wally Muller and Ron Zangari. They spear fished in The Swain Reefs – a very exciting unknown destination in 1961-62.
The tiger shark featured on the cover Ben’s book shows Ron Zangari with the killer spear that penetrated the large shark easily.
The tiger was attracted to fish frames and skins being slowly dropped over the side as Wally filleted the day’s catch. Film of the shark appears in the hit documentary The Shark Hunters. The film proved so popular when it was first shown on TV, it was repeated the following week.
The revolutionary killer spear was a conventional 3/8″ shaft with a three-sided triangular point, like a needle. It was designed to paralyze sharks IF the spear touched the spine. Without barbs to hold the spear it would pull out if the shark was to swim away. Thus saving a lost or bent spear.
This was an experimental device demonstrated in their documentary. Underwater cinematography by Ron and featuring Ben as the star diver.
The spear was never commercially marketed, the shotgun powerhead was about to make tabloid headlines around the world as the first anti-shark device for shipwreck survivors and others.
(Like all weapons, it was prone to mis-use in subsequent years. It would be interesting to learn how many were commercially manufactured in Australia).