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Is it safe to dive off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh?
Just 24 hours later after the attack, at one of Egypt's most popular diving and snorkeling destinations, Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana announced that it was safe for divers to enter the water...
Surge Desk takes a look at five theories on what has caused the uptick in attacks:
1. Israel planted the sharks to kill Egyptian tourism
2. Exporters are throwing sheep carcasses overboard
3. Tourists are feeding the sharks illegally
4. Dive schools are "chumming"
5. The sharks are simply hungry
From What's Causing Egypt Shark Attacks? 5 Theories
I think we need to clarify few things here. There is a lot of "flase" information going around in regard to sharks.
First thing first, risk links to sharks need to make a clear distinction between snorkeling....aka, swimming at the surface...and diving!
Sharks do attack swimmers, snorkelers as well as surfers. This is a reality, simply check the news in South Africa and Australia. Sharks do attack close to the beach, even at point where you can actually stand in the water on the beach. Florida has already seen huge concentration of bull sharks, and these guys are dangerous. It has sometimes been explain by the difference in water temperature....or simply by explaining that bulls sharks, mako sharks or great white sharks see us as food.
No for the diving. I have dive with hundreds hammerhead sharks up and very close....meaning very close, and there was no cage there. In June, I did dive in South Africa...in a single dive, 6 bull sharks and 7 oceanic black tip...I would not enjoy seeing this guys while snorkeling. In Galapagos, there were actually so many sharks that you had to make sure...you don't drop on them. I did dive in Egypt, South Red Sea, next and very close to a Oceanic White tip...this guy can be nasty, not a place to snorkel next to hit.
Is all of this diving dangerous...the answer is simply no. The sharks do hate the bubbles divers are making. I also have a theroy that they don't like to have to chew on a wetsuit (but this is obviously a joke). The point is, there are very very very few attacks on divers by sharks any single year.
Are sharks dangerous for snorkelers...yes (but only in certain places on earth)...are sharks dangerous for divers...no! Oh, and the best part must have been the cage viewing of the Great White Shark out in south Africa. They call this cage-diving...but it is a marketing lie, there is no diving here as there is no bottle or any equipement related to diving. Not even a snorkel!
Great white sharks...great wines...welcome to Western Cape
Diving South Red Sea
Galapagos...Darwin's Arch...Hammerheads dreamland!
Protea Banks...shark galore...and no cage!
And to prove my point, we are diving as a family in less than 2 weeks...few kilometers away from Sharm El-Sheikh!
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* Generally sick or injured shark
*Generally in areas of overfishing so feedstocks are depleted making competition for any food source increase
*Does the swimmer or snorkeller have an elevated heartbeat or is splashing around mimicking an injured seal etc?
*Are there a natural foodsource in the area - ie if you are snorkelling around seals, you are at a higher risk.
I live and dive in pretty much shark attack central (West Coast of Aus) weve had quite a few fatal attacks lately. A shark a few years ago almost beached itself to swim through many people in the water and target one person- someone with an elevated heart rate from a run along the beach before entering the water. Shark last year took a diver who was spearfishing, so had a food source with him which was in the act of dying therefore thrashing around alerting the shark. I find diving with sharks the highlight of any dive when they show up. Personally I think theyre beautiful creatures.
The mention of live sheep ships losing sheep at sea is not that far fetched actually. A lot of sheep ships loaded here are escorted from port by bullsharks who know the routine if one gets lose while being loaded and jumps into the harbour it generally becomes shark food. Not sure of the exact route of sheep ships but if there is one that sharks have been following in the area it may explain sharks getting the idea of an easy kill. Israelis and dive schools chumming waters? well, thats just out there, when you chum waters for sharks you get very active feeding - "feeding frenzys" largely never go unnoticed and would have to take place right in the area of the resort, which would surely be noticed. If you did say set out a pattern of chumming sharks would go to the area where chumming is taking place...which cant possibly be the resort infront of the beach.
My guess is depleted food stocks or injured/sick sharks looking for an easy meal. Reply to this
Id also hazard a guess it may be just one shark, not several...that would be extremely unusual. Reply to this
I was told by locals that sharks where atracted 2 the tourist boats by throwing bloody stuff on the water, so the tourist could see them close. Which is a REALLY BAD idea, since they get the wrong kind of shark attention.
And well some snorkelers are just a danger themselves splashing and screaming around ( like any dying animal would do) instead fo swiming as if u were diving, without using ur arms. Though snorkeling or diving with sharks gets m a little uptight, i know some basic rules like the ones i mentioned that will keep you ok between them though u could b scared 2 death ;) Reply to this