Friday, October 14, 2016

Lupe - Great White Shark Cage Breach Accident !

Source. Methinks, same boat!


The caption reads,
This is not our usual kids content and Gabe and Garrett did not go on this trip, this video is from my trip to Guadalupe Island (I'm their dad).

On a recent great white shark cage diving trip we experienced a very rare event, a shark breaching the side of the cage. What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope. When a great white shark lunges and bites something, it is temporarily blinded. They also cannot swim backwards. So this shark lunged at the bait, accidentally hit the side of the cage, was most likely confused and not able to swim backwards, it thrust forward and broke the metal rail of the cage. There was a single diver inside the cage. He ended up outside the bottom of the cage, looking down on two great white sharks. The diver is a very experienced dive master, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured. The boat crew did an outstanding job, lifting the top of the cage, analyzing the frenzied situation, and the shark was out after a few long seconds. Everyone on the boat returned to the cages the next day, realizing this was a very rare event. The boat owner, captain, and crew are to be commended for making what could've been a tragic event into a happy ending. I'm sure God and luck had a bit to do with it too!

I want to return next year for another great white shark adventure!
And this is what the Guadalupe regulations state,
6.8 The permit holder shall ensure that the bait line is immediately removed from the water if the white shark following the bait approaches within 6.5 feet (2 m) of the vessel.

6.10 Bait shall be thrown from port side or starboard side at the stern in an angle of 45° from the cages to the outside of the boat. Bait line will not be shorter than 40 feet (12 meters) and it shall not touch the cage or pass over the top of the cage.
And now you know why!

Shit happens, and like in this much publicized, and likely equally preventable case, the crew did react admirably - but it is equally clear that competitive pressure continues to tempt some operators and their crew to push the boundaries of legality and good old common sense, instead of all agreeing on sticking to the rules and offering a safe, sane and sustainable tourism product.
I've said it back here: this is just simply bad business.

Oh well.
Like I said, shit happens - provisioned Shark diving does carry specific risks that will sporadically eventuate, and this despite of one's best efforts to manage and mitigate them - incidentally, just like in, say, the airline industry!

But it is still WAY safer than recreational SCUBA! :)
Let's go Shark diving!

PS: Martin here!
PPS: the operator here!


Unknown said...

I'm really glad the diver was ok, but does anyone know if the shark was ok as well?

DaShark said...

The Shark was obviously injured when breaching the cage, see the blood from the gills - other than that there's no info about the long-term effects.
But they're resilient = it is probably doing OK.

Unknown said...

and this is why we make our Shark Cages very strong and refuse to make "lighter" cages for operators who ask for them!

DaShark said...

Round or square tubing?