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Death in Cocos from shark attack

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

  1. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
  2. matt215

    matt215 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Franklin, TN
    That has not been my experience at all. The great hammers and bulls at Bimini are some of the most laid back sharks I've been around, and they (at least the hammerheads) are being fed. The most worked up I've seen sharks at Cocos... the night dive at Manuelita coral garden. Yes, they are mainly white tips, but if you've been there when a silver tip or a scalloped hammer comes in, things get crazy and it's time to get out.

    Also, you lost me at spear fishing. That is TOTALLY different. The movements of the speared fish gets them worked up. If you get in the water with someone that is spear fishing, you are pretty much asking for trouble. There's lots of videos of people spear fishing that run into problems with shark. Not many videos of people running into problems on a shark dive. Even in my experience with oceanics, I've never seen aggressive behavior (posture, bumping divers, etc) during a shark dive with bait.

    If, as you claim, "sharks that are fed suck" and are "highly aggressive" I wonder why there are no more incidents. Again, I've just not seen aggressive behavior in the hundreds of times I've been in the water with sharks.

    As far as whether it's ethical to feed sharks on a dive, well, that's another conversation all together...
    Rythmmaker and mntlblok like this.
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    The 1st hand experiences you related are sobering and I can see where that would lead you to have serious concerns about shark feeding. Since this situation wasn't believed related to shark feeding, I'll answer briefly since the thread may inform others views on sharks more broadly.

    I've participated in dives observing the hand-feeding of tiger, lemon and bull sharks, and observed lion fish feeding to reef sharks. Reef sharks can be fast and 'go for it' - a pair made life interesting for a guide with a lion fish on his spear in Belize. The only times I've had concerns about how a shark interacted with me were:

    1.) Belize - a maybe 5 foot+ reef (?) shark wanted a dead lion fish on the bottom. I was higher & off to the side a bit, but probably looked like a rival; the shark turned & briefly moved toward me. No aggression, shark got the fish, anxiety provoking but no harm done.

    2.) Jupiter,FL - a lemon shark swam toward me in a non-aggressive manner; as I'd been taught, I put a hand on its head & pushed down & away, the shark moved as directed, no harm done.

    It was nowhere near the frantic, high-drama 'feeding frenzy' I would've expected reading about sharks many years ago. Those I encountered weren't 'highly aggressive,' but I understand your experience differed.

    Addressing some other points:

    1.) Tiger sharks have indeed been called garbage cans of the sea. But that doesn't mean they're constantly viciously attacking everything in sight.

    2.) I see no reason aside from investigating a possible food source that the shark would bite the diver. Grabbing a sizable strange, unknown creature in your mouth carries risks. Instinct motivate risk-taking when there's potential reward. Whether the animal has a subjective experience of hunger pangs at the time is of dubious importance.

    3.) Re: Below - No, with blood in the water, probably some thrashing, you could have other sharks coming in. That shark likely aborted the attack rather than feed much, if at all. We can't call odds on it having a go at someone else, or what another sharks arriving at the scene might do.

    Rythmmaker likes this.
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    I have had many, many shark encounters, never with feeding or baiting. I have never touched a shark, even when they have passed close to me. They have always turned off prior to being too close. I would generally avoid extending an arm if the sharks are used to feeding :)
  5. drl

    drl Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago suburbs
    Is there any word on the condition of the divemaster who was injured? We dove Cocos from the Sea Hunter last year; I wonder if the same divemasters still work there.
    We saw tiger sharks on several dives but were not threatened. However, we were told that if one appears on a night dive everybody gets out of the water—they hunt the white tip sharks, which are similar in size to a human, and a diver could be bitten by mistake.
    No info as to what happened in this case yet, of course. Hope the dive master recovers
    mntlblok, chillyinCanada and drrich2 like this.
  6. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    I usually would, too. I should've clarified that the lemon shark coming toward me appeared likely to bump right into me. I didn't think it would hurt me, but while not huge, they are not little. Wanted to keep the mouth a little further away...

  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Great White

    In Australia they had about as many fatal shark attacks in the last couple of years as total recoded shark attacks in the preceding couple of centuries. The number of people buying the "poor little sharkies rarely biting by mistake" story is going down and the number of people buying "top predator is exploring a new food source" story is growing.
    Airleron, Gdog, Jayfarmlaw and 2 others like this.
  8. Aviyes

    Aviyes Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Utah
    DM on my Belize BA-IV trip was bit by Rambo the Nurse Shark on the Dos Chicas dusk dive. The shark was a royal pain in the ass to all the divers during that dive. At least half of us had to prod/kick him away at some point during the dive.
    mntlblok likes this.
  9. DavBuc

    DavBuc Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North America
    Just when you think you've heard it all, there's something like this.


    hilljo88 and BDSC like this.
  10. mmmbelows

    mmmbelows Regular of the Pub

    They don't attack everything in sight or everybody at tiger beach would be bitten. My comments were in regard to the shark being hungry and then after biting both divers was full... I don't believe tigers are ever hungry nor full, they are just on a constant search for food like most other sharks, I don't for an instant believe hunger had anything to do with this incident

    You still haven't experienced an aggressive shark yet based on how all your interpretations describe passive shark behaviors, you're under the notion that all shark attacks are based on just a confused shark with a bad case of mistaken identity.

    Just my opinion, but if both divers were bitten this tiger was not 'investigating', the story will probably play out that it will be described as aggressive, one person 'tasted' is one thing, two people bitten and one dead is definitely something else altogether.

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