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Scared to death of encountering a shark while diving

Discussion in 'Shark Forum!' started by courtneyinpink, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. courtneyinpink

    courtneyinpink Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Southern California
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    I live by some great dive spots--Anacapa Island, San Miguel, Catalina...but because I'm so terrified of Great White Sharks I don't go. I'm new, too only about 10 dives in Mexico and Illinois and sometimes I actually have nightmares where I see one and I just stop breathing, my reg comes out. I have anxiety disorder and I don't know what's wrong with me...I know they're not man eaters...I used to even surf, and I'm a marine biology conservation major...White Sharks just freak me out.

    Sorry, not sure if that was even a question or a vent. :confused:
     
  2. Noboundaries

    Noboundaries Manta Ray

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    Courtney Dear, as a Marine Biology major, how'd you get such a fear of sharks? I acknowledge that it is very real for you, but chances are good it is a fear/phobia that can be overcome with knowledge and facts.

    First, there have been very few attacks on scuba divers. The only one I know of in CA involved a scuba diver using an underwater scooter in an area that seals frequent. Surfers, swimmers, skin divers, kayakers are another matter entirely because they tend to mimic swimming shark food. Scuba divers don't. When was the last time you saw a seal wearing a scuba tank?

    Second, you are 30 times more likely to be killed by lightening than a shark attack.

    Here's a good website you can use to educate yourself about the possibility of a shark attack while diving. International Shark Attack File

    Don't worry about bleeding either unless you recently received an infusion of fish or seal blood. Sharks recognize the difference. There was a show on TV recently testing shark reaction to blood. Human blood was put in the pool with sharks. No reaction. Fish blood was put in the pool and they went berserk.

    Finally, there are thousands upon thousands of scuba dives completed every year in CA. No scuba diver shark attacks. Dive with a large group on a boat with experienced divers and stick with folks you trust to get you out, about, and back to the boat again. Oh, and don't wear fish perfume. And if you can, hookup with someone who can take you to warm, clear water to dive. It is WAY different than our CA coastal waters.

    Acknowledging a fear is the first step to overcoming it. Congrats on putting it out there for help.
     
  3. Jim Ernst

    Jim Ernst Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sacramento CA
    5,126
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    If you are LUCKY enough to see a shark, Feel very Blessed, I have 900+ Dives in California alone and have NEVER seen a shark, Only sharks I have had the very sweet Pleasure of diving with were in the Bahamas and the Philippines.
     
  4. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    5,290
    1,036
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    I love seeing sharks when I dive though I would imaging seeing a GW would increase the pucker factor. It still wouldn't keep me out of the water.
     
  5. LIVES4SHARKS

    LIVES4SHARKS SHARK DIVA AI ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Savannah, Georgia
    4,823
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    I love being in the water with them, but it can be a little disturbing at first. They do have a certain presence that you tend to mistrust. But if you do get the pleasure of seeing one, you will find that they tend to be more afraid of you than you of them. If it's that much of a phobia, then you might want to figure out what got you that fear to begin with. Sharks are definitely not the evil monsters that you see on TV. They truly are very misunderstood.

    Carolyn:shark2:
     
  6. TGreene

    TGreene Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Arkansas
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    Sharks are incredibly INTELLIGENT animals, that while curious they know to maintain a safe distance until they otherwise feel safe and secure.

    -Tim
     
  7. courtneyinpink

    courtneyinpink Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Southern California
    27
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    Thanks you guys :)
     
  8. LIVES4SHARKS

    LIVES4SHARKS SHARK DIVA AI ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Savannah, Georgia
    4,823
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    You're Welcome!

    The more you dive, you will be surprised that they have been in the water with you all the time. Since they aren't interested in divers or their bubbles, they stay at a distance. If you ever head out to the East coast for some diving, I would be happy to dive with you and see if we can make you comfortable with them. We see alot out here. They are really beautiful!

    I have had the pleasure of meeting and diving with some of the top shark divers in the world. I trust the advice that they have given me along the way.

    Carolyn:shark2:
     
  9. marinediva

    marinediva Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Illawarra.....south of Sydney australia & Balmain
    466
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    Hi Courtney

    I'm with you on the Great White Pointer.

    The fear I experience when I am see them is a real problem.
    I don't mind the reef, tiger, hammerhead or any other shark just them.

    My fear is so bad I will not dive in some AUssie waters now because of it. I realise it is really silly in a way, but my brain is programmed. I was a JAWS child and initially I did not have a problem.
    Then one sunny day I am at a beach in Perth. In the distance I could see some kids jumping off a large outcrop of rocks, sometime later a commotion had started on the beach and soon I realised that one of the boys was taken by a great white.

    This replays in my head and from that moment on I refuse to dive south of Coral Bay in Western AUst, and south of Coffs on the east coast of Australia.

    In PNG I regularly see Hammerheads not a problem.
    Think I will doomed to dive only in hot tropical waters for the rest of my life.
     
  10. courtneyinpink

    courtneyinpink Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Southern California
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    Oh my god. :shocked2: was he okay...?
     

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