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How not to handle an Oceanic White Tip?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by dianna912, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. dianna912

    dianna912 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia
    I’m just guessing here, because I’m not shark expert, but I have to guess that this is not how a diver should handle this shark? I imagine that sticking your foot and fin out to it is asking to lose it, but I could be wrong.

    We dove with this DM in the Red Sea back in July right after the Brothers opened back up, so I was naturally leery of the OWTs. Thankfully, we only saw one at a distance. When the DM posted this today it made me very happy we only saw it at a distance. Truly, though, I’d love input on how one should handle this situation.

    Full disclosure, I did screenshot this off Facebook and I did not make it a public post on YouTube, it’s linkable only, since I didn’t think it’d be right to put it out there like that. I do not own the rights to this video, I wanted to use it as an opportunity to learn.

  2. CuzzA

    CuzzA Solo Diver

    Well, you don't go flailing bare flashy white hands in its face, that's for sure. o_O The diver had nothing with him to create separation from the shark. I suppose a fin would be the worst best option. I can tell you that if I'm diving with apex sharks, at a minimum I'll need a pointy stick.

    There's a thread on here about the attack that happened several months go. Plenty of advice in there.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  3. Scuba-74

    Scuba-74 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
    I don't think the diver could have done much better than that. With OWT the protocol appears to be 1) remain vertical; 2) face the shark; 3) put something in between if possible - the fin is the next best thing after a bulky camera.

    So yes, the barrel roll the diver tried to do didn't look great with a lot of hand motion, but all things considered he did OK and achieved the result.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  4. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

    My experience with bulls and hammerheads, very up close and personal, has been to be aggressive towards them. Now Oceanic WT are bad ass, but if in that position I would have swam at the shark and kept swimming at him. Normally they will yield to you.

    Face it, you are not going to win a swimming race against even a dog fish. Add to that, most sharks are ambush hunters anyway, so if you see them like that video they are just checking you out. I've had some bulls come at me, pecs down, arched back, rapid side to side swimming and all I could do is turn on them, it would back them off. Once I had a really big bull come up from the deep reef full speed at me, didnt see him until the last second, I had just enough time to turn into him, he made a hard right and never saw him again.
    chillyinCanada and Johnoly like this.
  5. foob

    foob Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    With a camera rig you push it away. Use flashlight or pointer. Anything inorganic to push. Worst case is hands. Definitely don't flap like that.

    If you don't have anything, stay close to a buddy or DM. :wink:. But if you know you might see longimanus, bring something. A third fin maybe.

    Be vertical. Don't take your eyes off the shark. Don't flee.

    Maybe sharks don't like poop. Someone do a test.
  6. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

    If you want a real good example of dealing with aggressive White Tips, get a copy of the movie, Blue Water White Death, and watch Peter Gimbel and crew deal with them way off shore off S Africa while feeding on a whale.
  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    ISAGN: :light-bulb-turning-on: icon. So that's what BFKs are for: cutting a hole in your suit.
  8. foob

    foob Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco
    Think people are going to know no matter whether there is a hole or not. Haha
  9. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Lots of bubbles. Sharks hate lots of bubbles and screaming like you're on the attack.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  10. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    In the video the diver put his hand on the shark TWICE, touching it. There are hundreds of divers reading this thread.

    Have you a diver reading this thread, ever touched a shark with your hand and what did the shark do immediately after the touch ??

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