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FAQ

How does the Shark Shield effectively deter sharks?

The Shark Shield produces a unique conductive field that surrounds the wearer. Sharks are sensitive to this field and when they approach too close to the wearer, the field causes muscular spasms in the shark, that result in the shark feeling discomfort.

It is believed the field is detected by the shark through its sensory receptors, known as the Ampullae of Lorenzini, found on the snouts of all predator sharks. Once detected by the shark''s sensors, the field causes extreme discomfort and muscle spasms, resulting in the animal fleeing the area.

Does the Shark Shield attract sharks?

No! Surprisingly, this is a question Shark Shield is sometimes asked because of some misconceptions. Shark Shield does not attract sharks; it deters them.

If I am wearing a unit, but my buddy/mate is not, is he/she more prone to attack?

Anyone not wearing a Shark Shield is at more risk of being attacked than somebody who is wearing a unit.

However the fact that one person is wearing a unit does not mean that those around him/her are placed at greater risk than if nobody in the group was wearing a unit.

What sort of testing has been done on the Shark Shield units?

The Natal Sharks Board test program, was carried out by a group of scientists, including physicists, marine biologists, electronic engineers and a large number of professional divers.

The Shark Shield has been thoroughly tested in the laboratory, and on site with Great Whites, both in Cape Town, South Africa and Neptune Island, South Australia. Field testing of the Shark Shield on predator sharks involves attracting sharks using blood and offal. The unit is turned on and placed into the water with fish bait attached to attract the shark. The shark''s behaviour, as it investigates the food source, is then observed and recorded. The testing conducted to date proves conclusively (100% of the time) that sharks detest the effect the field has on them and will keep a safe distance away from the wearer.

Field testing involves attracting sharks using blood and offal, under stringently controlled conditions. The unit is turned on and placed into the water with fish bait attached, to attract the shark. The shark''s behaviour is then observed and recorded as it investigates the food source. The testing conducted to date proves conclusively (100% of the time) that sharks detest the effect the field has on them, and will keep a safe distance between themselves and the Shark Shield. These tests were completed by independent marine biologists. Click here to view footage of field testing.

Remember: This testing is conducted under the worst possible scenario. The shark is stimulated, hungry and excited. This is a situation that any responsible person will avoid at all costs.

In addition to the proof discussed above, Shark Shield has recently gained credibility by being issued with a NATO stock number. This involved a testing regime by the Australian military. It is currently used by the Australian Elite Military, the Army, Navy, Police and Professional Divers and the US Coast Guard.

Can we guarantee the Shark Shield works?

Certainly it works.

Apart from the unsolicited testimonies from users, stating how their lives have been saved by this technology, we have years of conclusive scientific testing. It is important to note that all our testing is conducted in extreme circumstances in a bloodied and baited environment.

However, it must be remembered that all sharks are dangerous and unpredictable creatures, and therefore a 100% guarantee cannot be given. It is impossible to guarantee that all sharks will be deterred under all circumstances.

Since the inception of airbags in motor vehicles many lives have been saved by the invention, but it cannot be claimed that air bags save lives 100% of the time. With or without the protection of a Shark Shield, all sharks should be treated with respect and caution. Water sport participation in the presence of sharks is inherently dangerous. Any human activity in the water near sharks must always be considered as possessing a considerable degree of risk.

Like any piece of electronic equipment, the Shark Shield will not work effectively if not used in the correct manner, and if the units are not maintained correctly. The product instruction booklet provided with the unit must be read thoroughly prior to using the Shark Shield.

In April 2003, following the inquest into the death of a commercial scallop diver in South Australia, the State Coroner recommended that "...all divers diving in waters where there is the risk of the presence of sharks should wear a shark repellent device such as a Shark Shield or Shark POD..."

Has the Shark Shield been proven to be safe to humans?

The field generated by the Shark Shield, when used in accordance with the instructions contained in the instruction booklet supplied with each unit, poses no danger to the user, to sharks or to the environment. The field can be detected if the electrodes come into very close contact with the skin.

Direct contact with, or very close proximity to the antenna, may cause twitching of the surface muscles of the skin, in time with the slow pulsing of the signal. The conductive field readily travels through seawater, it being a better conductor than the human body. Thus the field tends to surround the body rather than penetrate it. Scientific tests show that the type of signal generated by the Shark Shield is unable to pass through body tissues, unlike radio waves or microwaves that readily penetrate the body, and therefore it poses no health problems for users.

However, anyone with any health condition which could increase their sensitivity to the fields created by the Shark Shield should not use the device. Such conditions include heart disease, a history of heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, a history of fainting or epilepsy, lung disease, or if the user is on any prescription drugs that are administered for these conditions. People who have pacemakers or are pregnant must not use the Shark Shield and should also avoid swimming near any other person using the Shark Shield.

Does the Shark Shield harm sharks?

From the tests conducted to date, the Shark Shield does not harm the shark. The majority of initial testing was carried out by a team of marine biologists at the Natal Sharks Board of South Africa.

Scientific tests, as well as observations, show the field emitted by the Shark Shield causes discomfort to the shark, which can eventually lead to muscular spasms. However once the shark leaves the area, there is no lasting detrimental effect to the shark.

When should I turn on the Shark Shield?

Do not turn the unit on until you enter the water. Turn the unit off when exiting the water.

Do I have to leave the Shark Shield switched on all the time?

Yes, when in the water. According to the International Shark Attack File of the Ichthyology Department of the Florida Museum of Natural History - see www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks - 52.3% of shark attack victims did not see the shark prior to attack. Therefore do not wait to turn the unit on. Ensure the unit is turned off when you are exiting the water.

However, the unit must be switched off when inside a shark cage or in any other confined areas such as wrecks or caves. Also see "When should I turn on the Shark Shield."

Can the unit be used by children?

The Shark Shield must not be used by children under the age of twelve years. The Shark Shield is a safety device, not a toy. It is deemed that children under the age of twelve, even with adult supervision, do not have the necessary level of maturity required to use such an electrical device, which, if not used correctly, will not give the level of protection to the user that it is designed to do.

Children above the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult to ensure that the Shark Shield is used correctly and in accordance with the instructions and warnings contained in the instruction booklet supplied with each unit.

On which part of the body is the Shark Shield worn?

It depends on which unit you use.

Do the electrodes need to be immersed in the water for a protective field to be created?

es, most definitely! Both electrodes need to be immersed in the water for a protective field to be created. In the case of the Freedom and Mariner units, both electrodes are encased in the antenna. In the Scuba unit one electrode is encased in the antenna protruding from the ankle, whilst the other electrode is worn on the scuba cylinder.

Will I get an electric shock?

Placing the hand near the electrodes will cause stimulation of the surface muscles of the skin. If you come into very close contact or touch the electrodes when the unit is switched on, the result will be some twitching of the surface muscles of the skin. The amount of discomfort is different for each human. The stimulation is not as bad as a shock from an electric fence.

If using the Scuba or Mariner units (for diving), these must be worn with a wetsuit to avoid skin stimulation.

How long does the battery pack last?

The battery with the FREEDOM7, SCUBA7 and Surf units will last up to 7 hours if fully charged prior to use. The lithium battery is rechargeable.

How do I know when the battery pack is getting low?

A solid green LED shows when the unit is operating normally. If the battery is running low alternate red and green flashing LEDs will be displayed, together with an audiable alarm.

How can I test that the unit is working properly?

Holding either hand close to the antenna, i.e. less than 300mm (12 inches) away, whilst immersed in water and while the unit is switched on, is a handy way of checking the field. If the unit is functioning properly, the user should feel a distinct pulsing of the skin muscles of the hand. For surfers, being on the surface of the water and often in bright sunlight, this is the easiest way to check the units operation.

Divers on the other hand will usually be in more subdued lighting where the LED status indicators may be more easily seen.

What is the warranty period for the Shark Shield unit?

The Shark Shield has a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty, provided the unit is maintained as per the instructions set out in the Product Information Booklet supplied with the product. The battery pack supplied with the product, or sold as an accessory, comes with a 6 month warranty from the date of purchase.

As outlined in the Product Information Booklet, the warranty is only valid if the Manufacturers Warranty Certificate has been completed and returned. It is also a requirement that proof of purchase be supplied when making a warranty claim.

What is the depth rating of the Shark Shield?

The maximum depth of use is 45 meters.

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