Paspaley faces social media wrath after Four Corners show on death of pearl diver

Luxury jewelry brand Paspaley is facing the wrath of social media users the day after ABC investigative journalism show Four Corners looked into the death of Paspaley pearl diver Jarrod Hampton.

Angry comments posted on the pearl maker’s Facebook page after the show aired were deleted overnight, and a message from the brand expressing regret over the death of Hampton reposted today.

Jarrod Hampton's parents on Four Corners

A spokesperson for the brand – from crisis management PR firm Cato Counsel – told Mumbrella that comments had been removed as they were “offensive”.

However, one poster claimed that their deleted comment was not offensive and contained no swearing, and reposted the comment today headlined, DELETED COMMENT REPOST.

The show brought into question Paspaley’s safety precautions leading up to the death of 22-year old Hampton in waters off the south of Broome earlier this year.

The re-post from the company has already drawn more heated responses from users today.


One reads: “Good to see the way you handle criticism is to completely wipe it from the eyes of public. Your levels of respect are plummeting.”

Another reads: “Social media 101 Paspaley, don’t remove negative comments it only makes things worse for you…”

Paspaley has since issued a statement to defend its safety record and reject claims made on the Four Corners program.

An extract from the statement reads:

“It is extremely disappointing that Four Corners has chosen to raise unsubstantiated safety allegations at this sensitive stage which could be prejudicial to the ongoing investigations. For the record, safety has always been a high priority for Paspaley which does not make compromises on safety across any of its operations.

“The tragedy this year was the first work related fatality of a Paspaley employee since records commenced in the 1960’s and Paspaley is not aware of any other fatalities before then.”

Twitter has also been ablaze with negative comments made about Paspaley.

Paspaley Storify:

The full episode is available to stream on ABC


  1. the public
    10 Jul 12
    2:53 pm

  2. Tim, great article. Do you think the lack of comments may be a result of the Storify plug in? Takes a lot of scrolling to get this far because the plugin keeps refreshing and extending out.

  3. anna
    10 Jul 12
    3:10 pm

  4. If only ABC would do an expose on the Belo Monte Dam and the Presicent Dilma’s open season on the Amazon. Thousands of people AND the amazon are being sacrificed in the name of greed there as I write. Where is the coverage? Where is the indignation? Where is the Resistance?

  5. Harry
    10 Jul 12
    3:47 pm

  6. This was one of the saddest and most well researched stories on 4 Corners. Up there with its people smuggler stories a few weeks ago. Well done ABC. But it seems that the Western Australian government can immediately introduce legislation which incorporates pearl divers within the same regime as for offshore oil and gas exploration. As for Pasparley Pearls it deserves all the censure it has received and any decent CEO would have responded to the safety concerns before the 4 Corners program came out. Stupid and tragic.

  7. anon
    10 Jul 12
    9:07 pm

  8. Jarrod was a very good friend of mine and I would like to thank everyone for their words and support following the 4-corners. Jaz was an amazing being and a very skilled diver with whom I qualified as d.I with. He should have had the choice not to dive again after his near drowing incident. But diving again was the only option. His free will was taken, and therefore his life. Pearl is murder

  9. Heather
    11 Jul 12
    5:25 pm

  10. Great article. I watched this on 4 Corners too. Heart breaking. Paspaley are stupid for deleting all the comments. I posted this article on the Paspaley facebook page! Ha ha (I keep checking if it’s been deleted)

  11. anon
    12 Jul 12
    11:31 am

  12. Very sad about the diver, no doubt, but this story was SOOO biased!!! Not a word about what happens in other companies, not safety or how much they offer the divers/shell. I have worked with Paspaley and they do care about their workers and safety. Its a huge operation, providing many jobs for many many families, so before everyone boycotts Paspaley Pearls, maybe better energy should be directed towards introducing better safety regulations on the dive boats rather then sink an Australian icon.