During their abalone dive, the two men became separated. Lehrer was alarmed to hear his friend calling for help, and when he looked over, saw him raised out of the water in a strange posture, without a mask on. He assumed Pamperin was suffering from a cramp, but when he dove underwater, he saw that he was in the maw of a shark that he estimated to be 20ft long. So large, in fact, that at first he thought it was an orca.
Lehrer watched in horror as the shark dragged Pamperin to the bottom of the Cove. Unable to scare off or even faze the shark, Lehrer swam back to shore. Neither Pamperin's body nor the shark were ever found. The culprit could have been a tiger shark, but was most likely a great white.