Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guadalupe - new Shenanigans!

Oh for crying out loud - again?

This is really very disappointing.
I see at least three breaches of the regulations:
  • 6.13 It is strictly forbidden to offer any bait or to feed great white sharks from inside the cages (= no hang baits attached to the cages, sharks may not eat the bait, and definitely no hand feeding).

  • 6.15 The operator responsible shall terminate the diving practice of any person who allows any part of the body to extend outside the cage or who tries to leave the cage when it is submerged.

  • 6.16 It is strictly forbidden to touch the sharks.
And of course this was in no way some spontaneous occurrence.
This was planned and protracted, as indicated by the different bait (at least one head and one patty) and different divers; and it is equally obvious that some of the crew must have been complicit and as a minimum, provided the ropes and the bait - or may the bait handler and Shark grabber be a crew member and not a customer?

Be it as it may, some arses need kicking! 
Clients are clients, and some of them will always try to push the limits, and promise extra tips for special favors; but reckless crew and possibly even skippers that endanger the clients and harm the investors by jeopardizing the reputation and ultimately, the economic survival of the business need to get fired.

Mind you, just my 2c.
To be continued no doubt!

PS - more thoughts here.
PPS - check out the comment by the owner of the vessel in the comments section!


Mike Lever said...

Mike Lever here. I am the owner of the boat in question and a very blunt and plain speaking Canadian.
What happened is wrong and is the opposite of what we stand for. The short story is that I am very pissed and angry at the crew and captain who were complicit in this. The captain and 2 dive masters in question were fired 2 months ago.

BUT ultimately this is on my shoulders. Clearly there is something wrong with the culture onboard for this kind of thing to happen. I’m not the kind of guy who makes excuses or blames other people. This is my responsibility and I needed to figure out how to fix the problem.

In this case, I did a lot of introspection when I fired the guys in November and decided that the root cause of the problem was lack of training. I took a page from my commercial aviation experience and am putting the final touches on “Nautilus U” - an internal training program mandatory for all crew. New crew will be going through 10 days of shoreside training including STCW emergency duties, security awareness, first aid, CPR, fire training, training on critters, dive safety and internal processes and procedures. New hires will have a performance review after 3 months of sea time. Existing crew will be going 5 days of recurrent training EVERY year. No exceptions. All crew will have a performance review every July.

There is no friggin way that I condone what is in these pic’s.
It is wrong.
It is not respectful
I will do everything I can to ensure nothing like this ever happens again

DaShark said...


Thanks Mike,
this is obviously very impressive, good on 'ya buddy!

Shark Diver said...

Thanks Mike for writing this blog and thanks Mike for your response! I think it's important to keep shark diving safe and sane. I realize that "shit" happens and what counts is how you respond to it. When I saw those articles, I thought that this doesn't sound like the Mike Lever I know and I'm glad that you proofed me right.

I second DaShark's comment. Good on ya buddy!

Unknown said...

Much respect for someone who will own up to mistakes and take corrective actions. Mistakes happen; whether or not it happens again is the difference between a hero and a zero. Awesome.

Dr. D.

Ian Campbell said...

Got to say that this story, and especially Mike L's reply really have made my day.

As someone with a vested interest in sustainable shark diving, it will only be through the actions of operators such as yourselves that the industry will have credibility and longevity.

Douglas Seifert, World Editor, DIVE Magazine said...

Mike Lever, you do the industry proud. I cant think of any other operators who respect the rules of their host government. Well done! For the sake of a photograph for junk media, three people lost their jobs. Mike's termination of rule-breakers who are stupid enough to post the evidence of their transgressions sends a very clear message. Impressive!

DaShark said...

I totally second that Douglas, this is awesome!

In so many years of shenanigans at Guadalupe, not one single operator has ever fessed up to the mistakes let alone assumed responsibility, so this is one huge, and curageous step in the right direction.

And lemme add that we are proud of being associated with people of this caliber within Global Shark Diving!

Patris Douglas said...

Patric Douglas here, let me second what I know about Mike Lever. He's a straight up guy and one of the leaders at Guadalupe, his innovation, safety, and ability to marshall a fleet of top notch boats should be commended. I have been on his boat, and was impressed from the get go.

Kudos Mike, don't let the online trolls keep you from doing what you do best, drag a fractious somewhat arcane industry "kicking and screaming" into the light.