I’m more than happy to watch Shark Week, but what happened to these divers off the coast of Guadalupe Island is utterly terrifying.
When scientists and divers descend into the ocean in cages, their philosophy is simple: you don’t mess with us, we don’t mess with you. Usually, sharks and other sea creatures go on about their business like the divers aren’t even there. This up close and personal view of the ocean has taught researchers a great deal about marine life.
This female great white shark, however, was a little more curious than her friends. Disoriented by bubbles, she manages to get stuck in a cage containing three divers.
Peter Maguire, the diver who captured the terrifying footage, explained what happened next:
The captain and crew decide to tie a rope around the shark’s tail and lower the cage, essentially holding the shark in place and popping the shark out! The shark swims away. Luckily, no one was hurt, including the shark. If it wasn’t for the training and quick thinking of the crew, this could have ended a lot differently.
As I talked with the other divers we all had the same thought. Even though the event was scary, it mainly made us all sad. Here we were, a bunch of strangers on a boat, thousands of miles away from home to see our favorite animal on Earth, and to see it distressed was absolutely horrible. I can only hope that we can learn from this video and improve on great white shark diving best practices and improve on cage construction.
Safe to say, I’m never going cage diving after seeing that.
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