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Shark Attacks A Diver, Who Manages To Survive With Just A Spear


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#1 SassyLilCutie

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 01:27 AM

I came across this video of a shark attack in the Carribean on 03/13/2014. Posted ImagePosted Image

Anyone have any thoughts on what he may have done wrong in this situation to further instigate the shark? What could he have done differently to make this situation less dangerous?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuJmrv_KF24
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#2 Diver Phil

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 02:19 AM

I came across this video of a shark attack in the Carribean on 03/13/2014. Posted ImagePosted Image

Anyone have any thoughts on what he may have done wrong in this situation to further instigate the shark? What could he have done differently to make this situation less dangerous?


First mistake was not ditching that bucket of bloody lionfish sooner. At the first brush, I would have let that go. I think the diver did good by presenting himself as a threat to the shark. Sharks will do the initial brush and sometimes exploritor "nibble" to view the behavior of their prey, this is to see if they are weaker than they are. If the shark feels their prey is a threat to them they will revisit to keep testing this but will eventually leave. I watched carefully, they diver didn't "poke" the shark with its spear, but it did use its blunt side to push the sahrk away.. which is smarter than using his leg, which the shark can easily eat lol. Shark experts (because I am not one) PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.

Edited by Diver Phil, 19 March 2014 - 02:19 AM.


#3 Diver Ed

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:35 AM

In the first ten seconds of the video, you see a shark cruising around. I would not be spearing fish with a shark right there. Seeing as how a lot of people are now spearing lionfish, and feeding them to sharks, eels, grouper, what ever, we are training sharks to stick around looking for that free meal. The other BIG mistake that I saw was that the diver stayed vertical when the shark was coming up towards him. By turning to face the shark, it may maintain a distance. If the shark still continues to come at the diver, he has better control of the spear by holding it in front of himself than he does if he is trying to swim away, while poking the spear down and between his feet.
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#4 Diver Phil

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:29 AM

In the first ten seconds of the video, you see a shark cruising around. I would not be spearing fish with a shark right there. Seeing as how a lot of people are now spearing lionfish, and feeding them to sharks, eels, grouper, what ever, we are training sharks to stick around looking for that free meal. The other BIG mistake that I saw was that the diver stayed vertical when the shark was coming up towards him. By turning to face the shark, it may maintain a distance. If the shark still continues to come at the diver, he has better control of the spear by holding it in front of himself than he does if he is trying to swim away, while poking the spear down and between his feet.


Good catch. I didn't see the shark in the first 10 seconds.. I wonder if the diver noticed her/him, or if he was focused on those lionfish. YES, spearfishing with sharks nearby is a NOGO lol..

#5 SassyLilCutie

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

First mistake was not ditching that bucket of bloody lionfish sooner. At the first brush, I would have let that go.


Yes! I agree that this was a MAJOR mistake on his part and as I was watching it I was thinking why in the heck is he still holding onto that bucket??!! Throw it away from yourself!

Ed,
I didn't know it was better to face them but should they be in a vertical stance rather than horizontal (like he was)?

Edited by SassyLilCutie, 19 March 2014 - 10:03 AM.

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#6 Diver Ed

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 08:40 AM

A number of years ago, I was diving off of Cat Island in the Bahamas with several locals that were spear fishing. We were in about 90 foot of water. At one point, I looked around, and saw that I was alone. I looked up at the boat, and saw a large shark circling the boat. It was an Oceanic White Tip. I ascended close to the boat, with myself between the boat and the shark, so I could keep an eye on it. It took about five attempts for me to get into the boat, as each time I turned towards the boat, the shark would approach me. I would turn to face the shark, holding my video housing between myself and the shark, and it would move several feet away. As that was also a spear fishing situation, I believe the shark would have taken a bite had I left a leg available. It was not a feeding frenzy situation at all, so the shark moved at a normal pace, but was definitely interested in me. By facing the shark, and even moving towards it a couple of times, The shark knew that I was not " an easy target ". My position of facing the shark also gave me better control of placing my camera between myself and the shark, to give me a little bit of protection, and control the situation a lot more than I would have been able to had I been swimming away from the shark, and allowing the shark to bite at my feet. Depending on the situation, a shark may approach the potential food source at a steady pace, and take a bite, or it may accelerate at the last moment. If you are swimming away from the attacking shark, looking at your feet as you do, and trying to judge the distance between your fins and the shark, hoping to kick the nose of the shark at the right time, chances are not that great. By facing the shark, the shark will most likely make several moves towards you, turning off as it gets within several feet, testing to see if there is any easy access. You may not have full control of the situation, but having some control is a lot better than having no control.

As you dive more, you will start to see sharks in the water. You will see that they usually keep their distance from divers, and do not pay much attention to divers. If a diver swims towards a shark, the shark will almost always change course and swim away from the approaching diver. As a photographer, I want them to come close. I have found that my best option is to watch them out of the corner of my eye, and hope they swim close by. Even my turning my head and pointing my camera towards them will often have they change direction to keep separation between us. It is not always the case, but more the rule than the exception.



First mistake was not ditching that bucket of bloody lionfish sooner. At the first brush, I would have let that go.


Yes! I agree that this was a MAJOR mistake on his part and as I was watching it I was thinking why in the heck is he still holding onto that bucket??!! Throw it away from yourself!

Ed,
I didn't know it was better to face them but should they be in a vertical stance rather than horizontal (like he was)?


Edited by Diver Ed, 20 March 2014 - 08:48 AM.


#7 SassyLilCutie

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:52 AM

A number of years ago, I was diving off of Cat Island in the Bahamas with several locals that were spear fishing. We were in about 90 foot of water. At one point, I looked around, and saw that I was alone. I looked up at the boat, and saw a large shark circling the boat. It was an Oceanic White Tip. I ascended close to the boat, with myself between the boat and the shark, so I could keep an eye on it. It took about five attempts for me to get into the boat, as each time I turned towards the boat, the shark would approach me. I would turn to face the shark, holding my video housing between myself and the shark, and it would move several feet away. As that was also a spear fishing situation, I believe the shark would have taken a bite had I left a leg available. It was not a feeding frenzy situation at all, so the shark moved at a normal pace, but was definitely interested in me. By facing the shark, and even moving towards it a couple of times, The shark knew that I was not " an easy target ". My position of facing the shark also gave me better control of placing my camera between myself and the shark, to give me a little bit of protection, and control the situation a lot more than I would have been able to had I been swimming away from the shark, and allowing the shark to bite at my feet. Depending on the situation, a shark may approach the potential food source at a steady pace, and take a bite, or it may accelerate at the last moment. If you are swimming away from the attacking shark, looking at your feet as you do, and trying to judge the distance between your fins and the shark, hoping to kick the nose of the shark at the right time, chances are not that great. By facing the shark, the shark will most likely make several moves towards you, turning off as it gets within several feet, testing to see if there is any easy access. You may not have full control of the situation, but having some control is a lot better than having no control.

As you dive more, you will start to see sharks in the water. You will see that they usually keep their distance from divers, and do not pay much attention to divers. If a diver swims towards a shark, the shark will almost always change course and swim away from the approaching diver. As a photographer, I want them to come close. I have found that my best option is to watch them out of the corner of my eye, and hope they swim close by. Even my turning my head and pointing my camera towards them will often have they change direction to keep separation between us. It is not always the case, but more the rule than the exception.


Good to know as I've never encountered a shark and would rather know the right thing to do when I do encounter one because if I'm diving it's inevitable! Thank you for sharing!
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#8 Diver Ed

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:33 PM

The biggest thing to remember is that the video was a very unusual situation. Almost every diver will have a lot of encounters with sharks during their diving adventures. They will all be nothing but wonderful experiences. Spear fishing does add another element to things, and it can change the actions of a shark, or even a barracuda. My thoughts and experiences that I mentioned are solely pertaining to a situation where dead or dying fish on a spear or in a bag have altered the usual actions of a shark. They are not meant to imply that those same actions are needed when diving and a shark is in the area. You will always wonder what it is like to swim with a shark, and how you will react to it, until you actually experience it. That is normal. Once you see one, you will most likely be amazed at how beautiful the shark looked, and how cool the experience was. You will then look forward to your next encounter. Ed



A number of years ago, I was diving off of Cat Island in the Bahamas with several locals that were spear fishing. We were in about 90 foot of water. At one point, I looked around, and saw that I was alone. I looked up at the boat, and saw a large shark circling the boat. It was an Oceanic White Tip. I ascended close to the boat, with myself between the boat and the shark, so I could keep an eye on it. It took about five attempts for me to get into the boat, as each time I turned towards the boat, the shark would approach me. I would turn to face the shark, holding my video housing between myself and the shark, and it would move several feet away. As that was also a spear fishing situation, I believe the shark would have taken a bite had I left a leg available. It was not a feeding frenzy situation at all, so the shark moved at a normal pace, but was definitely interested in me. By facing the shark, and even moving towards it a couple of times, The shark knew that I was not " an easy target ". My position of facing the shark also gave me better control of placing my camera between myself and the shark, to give me a little bit of protection, and control the situation a lot more than I would have been able to had I been swimming away from the shark, and allowing the shark to bite at my feet. Depending on the situation, a shark may approach the potential food source at a steady pace, and take a bite, or it may accelerate at the last moment. If you are swimming away from the attacking shark, looking at your feet as you do, and trying to judge the distance between your fins and the shark, hoping to kick the nose of the shark at the right time, chances are not that great. By facing the shark, the shark will most likely make several moves towards you, turning off as it gets within several feet, testing to see if there is any easy access. You may not have full control of the situation, but having some control is a lot better than having no control.

As you dive more, you will start to see sharks in the water. You will see that they usually keep their distance from divers, and do not pay much attention to divers. If a diver swims towards a shark, the shark will almost always change course and swim away from the approaching diver. As a photographer, I want them to come close. I have found that my best option is to watch them out of the corner of my eye, and hope they swim close by. Even my turning my head and pointing my camera towards them will often have they change direction to keep separation between us. It is not always the case, but more the rule than the exception.


Good to know as I've never encountered a shark and would rather know the right thing to do when I do encounter one because if I'm diving it's inevitable! Thank you for sharing!


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#9 scubaclint

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 04:27 PM

Well said, Ed.


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#10 dive_sail_etc

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:34 PM

After all this, may I mention there are a couple of trips just around the corner that highlight sharks on site; not interaction mind you, just sharing the wreck and admiring them as they cruise by. :diver:

NC Sharks and Wrecks: Well we do shoot a bunch of Lionfish on this trip for our new feature Dockside Lionfish Grill during the trip, but for whatever reason the Sandbar Sharks that patrol the wrecks off the Beaufort NC coast have never demonstrated an interest after many years of Kamala's trips there, including two on my own (and I'm returning this year as well).This trip runs 17-22 July and is already open for booking!

Best of Florida Boynton / WPB: This trip features lots of Green and Hawkbill turtles, Goliath Grouper and various species of sharks that cruise along this stretch of South Florida. It is due to open as soon as Kamala returns from the Maldives, so probably next week, and runs 22 - 30 August.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled shark video discussion. :respect:

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#11 Diver Phil

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 03:06 AM

This has been a great discussion. Thanks for posting the video Sassy, and thanks for the extra insight Ed. I am going on a trip in T minus 35 days to Roatan :dancing:/> and will be doing a shark dive! I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I wont need to to fend off an oceanic like Ed did, I will only have my GoPro on a tray. lol.

Edited by Diver Phil, 21 March 2014 - 03:10 AM.


#12 SassyLilCutie

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 11:51 PM

This has been a great discussion. Thanks for posting the video Sassy, and thanks for the extra insight Ed. I am going on a trip in T minus 35 days to Roatan Posted Image and will be doing a shark dive! I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I wont need to to fend off an oceanic like Ed did, I will only have my GoPro on a tray. lol.


Absolutely! I figured it was something we could all learn from! I mean who wants their friends to be a shark's dinner... yeah no! We all need to know how to behave Posted Image around the different sea life that we encounter while diving. Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image

#13 WreckWench

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:03 AM

Hunters will notoriously NOT give up their catch...even to a shark. I have personally had sharks want the lionfish I have speared and I will try several times to keep my catch but if the sharks REALLY wants it...he gets it.

The difference between prey and predator is size and position in the water. Prey will swim away... another predator will hold its ground and stay HORIZONTAL in an aggressive position... much like a diver with a camera set up and/or spear set up.

We are NOT on the menu however if we come between a mother and her offspring...or we chum the water with fish blood and twitching fish and DON'T SHARE...we are asking for trouble from our tooth denizens of the deep.

So give up the fish unless you REALLY want a totally different shark encounter and don't trap a shark leaving them no way out (such as in a wreck) and don't come between them and their offspring. And the rest of time...hope you can see them and get pictures!

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#14 Greg@ihpil

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:05 AM

This has been a great discussion. Thanks for posting the video Sassy, and thanks for the extra insight Ed. I am going on a trip in T minus 35 days to Roatan Posted Image/> and will be doing a shark dive! I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I wont need to to fend off an oceanic like Ed did, I will only have my GoPro on a tray. lol.


Phil,
Just to ease your Shark experience. I did this dive 2 yrs. ago. If it is the same shop. It is SAFE.It does give you a whole new respect & perspective as Ed has mentioned.They truely are Beautiful creatures in action.I would do it again in heart beat..
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#15 Diver Phil

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for the encouragement Ed. I am very excited about that particular dive Posted Image. I have seen videos and heard the experiences of others, it seems to be an experience of a lifetime. I of course will be very vigilant while among them sharkies, but that is only out of Posted Image.

This has been a great discussion. Thanks for posting the video Sassy, and thanks for the extra insight Ed. I am going on a trip in T minus 35 days to Roatan Posted Image/> and will be doing a shark dive! I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I wont need to to fend off an oceanic like Ed did, I will only have my GoPro on a tray. lol.


Phil,
Just to ease your Shark experience. I did this dive 2 yrs. ago. If it is the same shop. It is SAFE.It does give you a whole new respect & perspective as Ed has mentioned.They truely are Beautiful creatures in action.I would do it again in heart beat..






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