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Death in Cocos from shark attack

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by BDSC, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
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    Like I said we swore by them, and saw them work, and I am still walking and talking so that's all I can really say about that, except, each to their own. Besides, although I no longer have a link (if there ever was one given it was back in the dark ages), I have long ago seen videos from South Africa with Great Whites literally bouncing of the 'field' time and time again.

    And as the researches themselves said, and I alluded to above "We can't apply our findings to specifically what would happen in the case of an interaction between a human and a shark, but what we can do is learn from what we have observed in understanding how sharks might behave to the shark shields. Researcher found results varied from shark to shark, and even between the two testing methods."

    I have been to the Neptunes on several cage diving trips back in the 90's and it was and still is a HEAVILY chummed / baited area, and seal rookery, with already 'aggro' sharks, so I wouldn't say that was the most 'neutral' place for a test, noris 'baiting them in' to 'our' situation per se, as after all we don't swim around with blood or other enticing fluids trailing down current (I hope!).

    But the Neptunes sure is a place to generally find a relative abundance of white sharks, which they needed for their studies no doubt. But I myself would not compare 'baited behavior' to a diver just swimming about. Like they say in the report though, depends on the shark (and maybe his / her experiences with divers and / or even being previously baited?).

    That's my wife and I (below) in cage in background @ the Neptunes. Photo by Kev Deacon.

    MD-and-KD-Great-white-Shark-cage-Shark.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  2. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
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    You understand that the plural of anecdote isn't data right? No matter how bold or italicized you make your text, does not mean your sample size of one individuals experience trump actual data gathered by real scientists specifically looking for the efficacy of this (and other) shark repellants.

    The bottom line stone cold fact is that shark shields are no guarantee of safety. Do they work? Sometimes. Maybe even most of the time. The problem is when they don't work. It doesn't matter how staunchly you believe they work, or how much emphasis you try and put on your written word proffering their efficacy, they (and watch, I can do it too) DO NOT WORK ALL THE TIME, EVERY TIME. Telling people they do is dangerous and disingenuous.
     
  3. KevinNM

    KevinNM DIR Practitioner

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    Sometimes the purpose isn’t money, it’s vengeance and inflicting pain on the people who you hold responsible for hurting you or someone you loved. ‘The process is the punishment’.
     
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    We dived Manualita several times during my visit on Okeanos II last March/April. We got a brief look at a Tiger Shark on one dive. We saw many Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks, and, of course, many Whitetip Sharks, during the trip

    For me, the main draw to Cocos were the Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks. I was very well aware that there were Tiger Sharks also. Aggressor also advertised the fact and posted pictures on the trip blogs. I find it difficult to believe that divers booking this trip would not be aware of this.
     
  5. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    In speaking to other dive operators who have been inflicted with such punishment, it is very difficult to separate ego from what is otherwise just a business transaction. Sometimes to the point where the operator just throws in the towel and gives up. When I operated the Spree, ego played a tremendous role. No one else could dock the boat, no one else could change air compressor filters, and God forbid the boat go offshore without me.

    Of course none of that is true, someone else is changing air compressor filters and docking her now. We never got sued, but the previous owner did. He said it was the worst, most sleepless, stressful time of his life. Not because it's a business transaction that you will lose, even if you win, but because someone questioned your procedures, your abilities, and everything that makes your dive operation special.

    It really doesn't matter to the dead guy (or girl in this case) why they died, it only matters to the one hurting that someone else should hurt with them.
     
  6. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    Here's a question going forward, pertinent to all live-aboard op.s visiting Cocos Island; what, if anything, should they do differently, either in advertising, customer education onboard, the manner in which dives are conducted, where &/or what time dives are done, etc...

    I'm assuming they're not chumming/baiting/shark feeding or spear fishing, although the regional presence of tiger sharks is not always seen as a strict contraindication to those things. But I'm assuming they already don't.

    I'm guessing there's nothing to be done, but I want to see what others think.

    Should they...put a 'shark disclaimer' in the liability waiver so they can say all the customers were warned tiger sharks might kill them? Does that need to appear on advertising/promotional materials? If so, should such disclaimers also specify barracuda, large moray eels, the possibility of oceanic white-tip or mako could wander through, etc...? If someone blunders into a Portuguese man-o-war and dies from stings, and that species wasn't mentioned in the disclaimer, is there a liability concern? I once read there's some sort of unofficial legal rule of thumb that if you're going to write at all, you have to write it all. You can't write up specifically every way nature can get you.

    Tiger sharks move around; I doubt avoiding the site this happened is practical. But maybe some sites are more likely to provide tiger shark encounters. For some of us, that's not a bug, it's a feature. Is a boat going to catch flack for taking divers places where tiger encounters are 'more' likely (whatever that means)?

    Richard.
     
  7. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

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    Boy or boy Mr Tyson, you sure have an hard on against the Shark Shield.

    I did not say / don't recall advocating them to anyone, I said they worked for us, and I'd / we (i.e. the group I dived with) swear by them, and EVERY video I have seen of them showed they worked. I don't give at rats arse what the survey you pulled up says, they worked for us. Pure and very simple!

    You ever used one personally, or know people (personally) that have used them and they failed in prevent an attack and they got bitten?

    EDIT. And just to be clear, I couldn't care less whether you or anyone else despises / negates them, or ever buys one or takes any notice whatsoever re anything I say, I have no interest in the company that makes them whatsoever, save for thanking them for making a device that prevents more shark attacks then it has caused. And that you can't dispute!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    gcarter likes this.
  8. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

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    “I sat in on a DAN seminar and they touched upon one of the worst places to have a medical emergency. Top 2 are Cocos Island and Galapagos due to their remoteness. “OUTOFOFFICEBRB

    We have been to both Cocos and the Galapagos and I rarely thought about being so remote in case of an emergency . We were at Cocos the week after they spotted the first Tigers coming to the area and If I recall correctly, they saw them (4 or 5) at Manuelita . I remember hoping they would come back the whole week we were there but they never did. This accident is so tragic and my heart goes out to her family, friends, crew and fellow divers on the trip. I can not imagine what they are going through. This tragedy has definitely made me more aware of the dangers of not only diving with sharks, but being in such a remote area. Prayers for all involved.





















    "Cocos is so far away that even a medical evacuation helicopter sent out there doesn't have the range to make the round trip. Depending on weather and surface conditions, the trip by boat alone can take 30-36 hours." OUTOFOFFICEBRB
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  9. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

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    They do not feed at Cocos. Simply not necessary. You will likely see hundreds and hundreds of various shark species.

    I can guarantee you that wild animals/wildlife are in the waiver (which obviously doesn't prevent anything from happening again, and if I passed in this way and my relatives were to sue this boat I'd come back to haunt them)

    I am not sure there is much that can be done. This is similar to a bear attack in grizzly country. They happen. I haven't read any more on the specifics so don't know if there are more fact that came to light since the first couple days. Didn't appear to me to be anything that the divers did. I recall a docu about grizzlies, and that although it isn't common there have been some bears that actually stalked hikers and killed them, as opposed to defending prey/young. Sometimes wild animals are just wild.
     
  10. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

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    And I think more precisely Manuelita Inside, at least I recall reading that. That is a relatively shallow area, and where they do the night white shark dive. This specific location could be wrong though (as I recall there is a deeper Manuelita Outside)
     

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