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Death in Cocos from shark attack

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

  1. BDSC

    BDSC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    Thanks for the update.
  2. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Princeton, Texas
    I do not discount the nurse shark anymore. In Ambergris, my buddy's sis in law was bit by one and it caused a shitload of damage...

    In Ambergris, the DMs are feeding the nurses lionfish - obviously not a good practice.
  3. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    In August, 2013, I was struck by a boat after ascending from a drift dive in a zero visibility thunderstorm in Delray, Florida. That was a very rare occurrence. Though, perhaps a little more wary, I do not worry about being struck again and rarely think about it

    I dived off Cocos in March of this year and don't think I thought once of being attacked by a shark, including a short Tiger Shark encounter at Manuelita. To be honest, I think I would be a little nervous if I were diving in Cocos today. Sometimes it's difficult to balance the emotional and intellectual response to a situation. I believe that may be one reason people react the way they do to shark attacks, they are quite rare but very frightening.

    Many, if not most, of the threads in A&I include a discussion of how or why the accident occurred and what could possibly be done differently to prevent a similar accident in the future. The activity of feeding sharks and/or hunting has been frequently discussed, those will not be a factors in this instance. In fact, it is probably very unlikely that any change in behavior will be identified, that's also pretty frightening.

    I am going to Galapagos this April/May
    mntlblok, fdarden and drrich2 like this.
  4. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    There used to be a guy in Alaska that spent lots of time with grizzlies in Alaska (or maybe it was brown bears). Anyway he would take folks in for bear encounters and spend time near them. Did this for several years and then one day he and a customer were found dead from a bear attack. Same for any apex predator. You can have lots of encounters and one day the predator wakes up with a headache, hungry, feeling territorial, just ticked off, or whatever, and the encounter does not go well. I have seen cats, dogs, and some other animals take a nip, swat, kick, just because for some reason they got annoyed on a particular day by human presence.
  5. Fishpie

    Fishpie Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Lauderdale
    I was at Cocos 2 weeks ago on a private sailboat.
    Saw a Tiger most dives in the channel between Manuelita and the main island.
    On our first dive I was surface support in the small inflatable tender we used. Since it was so small and light I decided to snorkel over the two other divers in my party and drag the dink behind me. A couple of minutes in the water and I was surprised by what I thought was the dink in front of me (it should be behind since I was dragging it). I had a 3 to 4 meter tiger pass about two meters in front of me.
    I really don't like being on the surface around sharks so quickly got back into the dinghy.
    First time I have ever had a shark make me feel like I would be better off out of the water.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    Rodney H, Brodydog, Neuatomic and 8 others like this.
  6. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    Living long has all to do with managing your risk. Not all sharks are bad, as not all dogs are bad, but there are certain species of sharks and certain species of dogs that increase your risks. I will put my face right up to my dogs and nuzzle him at the right times because I know him and can read him, I would not want a child to ever try it even though he has never bitten anyone, even though he has a mild loving temperament, because he's a dog and dogs bite, it happens, so you respect them.

    I will dive with certain sharks and don't want anything to do with others, I have no desire to be in open water and find myself with a great white, bull shark, oceanic or a tiger shark, these species are dangerous and just because a thousand people have dived tiger beach in the bahamas without incident doesn't negate the fact that others have died there. Tigers are one of the sharks that is a roll of the dice, you have very little ability to alter the outcome of an encounter with one, you're at the mercy of that animal. When people go on and on about how rare attacks of sharks are it doesn't disappear the fact that people do get bit and people do die from them all the time. This nasty incident was just another roll of the dice that the diver came out on the bad end of it, nobody had any power to change how that outcome was going to go down, it was the day that tiger decided to put it's mouth on them. And that's the reality of shark encounters, with certain ones you have zero ability to do anything, caught in open water your dives outcome and the rest of your life is 100% up to that animal that day. That's the reality of the statements behind 'sharks rarely bite people'.
  7. matt215

    matt215 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Franklin, TN
    I've been in the water with tigers, bulls, oceanics, silver tip, gray reef, and great hammerheads among others. I've been on shark feeding dives, and dives where no bait was used. I've been to Cocos Island 3 times, where they use no bait at all. Wondering if sharks being fed are more chill because they are getting fed, and if maybe turtles are scarce at Cocos and the tigers wanted to take what they could get?
  8. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco, California
    The final call will always be by the captain/operator. If they decide to turn around and abandon the trip and cancel, this is an example of where liveaboard riders for travel insurance would kick in. You would be reimbursed for the unused portion of the trip.
  9. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    While I wouldn't stop diving, i believe I would be traumatized to the point of not diving the remainder of this trip if I witness such tragedy? Docking would probably be fine by me!
    mntlblok likes this.
  10. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Yes, and what we will (& won't) get in the water with is a very individualized risk assessment decision. We've got a thread on the question, actually. I deliberately went diving to encounter tiger sharks but it'd be a hard sell to get me in the water with white sharks, and I'd be hesitant about oceanic white tips.

    A big question is what's the risk of another attack by this individual shark.


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