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Death in Cocos from shark attack

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

  1. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Yep, that's the one. Good find. I've tried to find it after the first time I read it and was unsuccessful.
  2. Aviyes

    Aviyes Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Colorado
    Or an additional perspective on having a DM or other diver "armed." How would they know that the shark meant harm and was not just curious. I could see a serious uptick in the number of sharks killed and potential decimation of different shark species out of fear combined with ignorance. I picture the clip from South Park that, "Whenever they see a creature, they shoot it after yelling, "It's coming right for us!", so they can claim the shooting was in self-defense."
    DiveTheGalapagos likes this.
  3. nwscubamom

    nwscubamom Marine Scientist

    I am so sorry to hear this incident happened. What a horrible thing for everyone involved. I really feel for her friends and fiancé and family, as well as the dive operator, divemasters, and fellow trip participants.

    So far most comments have revolved around "would divers go back there again, and if so, what would they do differently?". I've been pondering the Divemasters' predicament. With one of their own injured so badly, what are the chances they'll be able to find any of them willing to go back in the water at that site? From reading all the comments, it sounds like Manuelito has a reputation for being Tiger Sharky and other incidents have happened, or almost did happen IIRC.
    Would simply leaving this site off the dive itinerary suffice?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  4. Divegirl412

    Divegirl412 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego

    I do have to agree that I felt the most uneasy during the night dive at Manuelita. Especially since at one point, we were surrounded by rivers and rivers of white tips and tarpon hunting, then in an instant they disappeared. I just KNOW there had to have been one or more tiger sharks around when this happened to make the smaller predators just get the hell away. Very unnerving in the dark. The tigers must have left, because after a few minutes, the smaller sharks and tarpon etc reappeared. I’m not ashamed to say I was very jittery after that for the rest of the dive. I half expected the guides to call the dive at that point, but I guess we would have probably been in more danger trying to make the surface.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  5. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    Having been an operator where tiger sharks are, I don't know of a single operator who would put divers in the water from sunset on if they knew tigers were there. Including this one.

    But while we're all discussing defending against tiger sharks, I would say that a large percentage of divers who go to Cocos go for the sharks. If the operator stopped diving with sharks, they would stop diving. So we can discuss all of the precautions the operator should take, this operator seems to have taken them. They never started chumming, they never started feeding, the worst thing they did was let divers go dive, which is what the diver paid for. Seems to me the operator acted with due diligence. And the diver got into the human soup.
  6. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    or maybe not
    But according to 'officials' Bill Watts was never attacked by a tiger shark, must have been a turtle

  7. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    Its not about 'taking guns away' it's about not being scared of an effective solution that could save lives just because gun powder is involved.

    If the divemaster in this incident had a powerhead with him, likely that tiger shark would be dead right now, would it have prevented the death of Rohinda Bhandari?

    If this goes to trial and the operators are faced with having to come up with a new safety plan to get access again. That safety plan could involve divemasters carrying a powerhead on dives. A pretty simple and safe solution adding a bigger margin of safety if things get extreme on a safety stop.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Or, in the struggle, he could’ve accidentally shot her, or himself, with the bang stick. If it didn’t fire, would the boat be accused of not maintaining it properly?

    And in the realm of unintended consequences, might boats quit putting guides in the water to minimize liability exposure as you dive at your own risk?

    It sounds like people who need to live in a bubble wrapped world better stay out of Cocos!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    divedrewsf and Johnoly like this.
  9. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    And I think you've asked why US boats don't put guides in the water. And now you've answered your question.
    Johnoly likes this.
  10. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I said previously, in general, this would not be an effective solution. Much of the time, divers would not be close enough for the DM to render help. Divers do not always ascend with the DM either. Divers are loathe to dive and ascend in a tight little group, would be unacceptable.

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