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Safety information card for Shark diving

Diving can be considered a dangerous hobby by default. Hipped on searching for curious trophies, divers often forget how deceitful the bosom of the sea can be. Their endeavour to obtain a unique camshot and their desire to explore the unknown undersea outfield pushes those divers to cross the reasonable risk line. And there also is another certain part of divers, who in chase of adrenaline, moved by 'I can do it!' desire to prove something to others and to themselves, literally get straight to predator's jaws, when trying to swim among those dreadful marine creatures - sharks.

Although tourist divers’ groups mostly go on this dangerous journey accompanied by an experienced instructor guide and before diving go through beginner's training, although they are trying to keep to all the instructor's indications and guidelines, even so this intentional meeting with a shark is fraught with danger. There is a set of rules, a code of conduct for divers. And all of these rules must be strictly obeyed. Besides there are some secrets of conduct for a person, who gets surrounded by sharks undersea and some advise from the experienced divers.

General Recommendations include:

  • The choice of a right-coloured kit and diving suit, which shouldn't have any bright or shiny parts;
  • Diver's skin covering examination, because even small injuries like cuts, sores and scratches are unacceptable;
  • Strict adherence to the diving schedule – diving is permitted only at day hours, because at sunset, at night and at dawn sharks go hunting, so if the predator sees you at that time it would be equal to entering a cage with a hungry tiger.

Professionalism is more acquired, rather than natural born quality. And it is acquired not in a day or two and even not in a year. Here are some recommendations, based on personal practice from divers, who are familiar with sharks, know how to treat them and have more than hundreds of dives under their belt.

Sharks never attack a group of divers.  Dive in company, or at least in pairs. Swimming alone means taking unconsidered risks.

Diving near fishermen’s favourite spots of fishing is undesirable.  Baiting fish there, they unwittingly attract sharks.

Large groups of seagulls, rafting at one spot and dolphins, swimming around indicate the presence of large amounts of food.  And where's the food, there are sharks.

At the water surface the diver is in a position, convenient for shark to attack, so do not hesitate to dive, and in depth don't fuss and make movements that cause a lot of noise.

A reef can serve as natural protection for diver.  In case of shark attack lean your back against the rocks - it eliminates the possibility of attack from the back.

Even if sharks' behaviour seams peaceful to you, do not try to approach them closely and particularly don't try to pat them.

When a shark starts to wheel around you, it's necessary to get out of water immediately. At this moment try not to make sudden movements or noise. Always keep a predator in sight.  If a shark approaches you too closely, you can try to distract its excessive attention by releasing a strong jet of air from the scuba gear.  Noise and plenty of air bubbles would scare it away.

Is Snorkeling Less Dangerous than Classic Scuba Diving?

Snorkelling is diving at a shallow depth. The only snorkel diver's kit is snorkel (mask and breathing tube). Snorkelling is considered to be less dangerous activity, because diver stays close to the surface and can quickly get back to the shore in case of shark attack. But it is an error of judgement. Snorkelling fans are more defenceless than divers in situations of shark attacks. But if, in defiance of common sense, you have a great desire to watch undersea dwellers from the surface, then you should listen carefully to the far more experienced snorkel divers' advice.

Don't swim far from the shore.

If you flee from the large number of sharks, it’s not cowardice but a reasonable conduct of a right-minded person.

When you get immersed in the contemplation of the undersea beauty, don't forget about the potential dangers and constantly keep looking around, very carefully monitoring the space beneath you.

Don't swim alone and choose for your partner a person, you can easily communicate with through hand and body language.

If you notice any signs of aggression in sharks' behaviour, immediately head to the shore. Don't let sharks go out of sight and don't make any sudden movements.

Never dive in the soup (cloudy water), the rather that it does not make much sense.

Also don't feed the fish, even if you desperately wish to do it.

By the way, different small sea creatures' behaviour can tell you the shark is near. Panic in the pack of fish is a sure sign of a dangerous predator's presence, which may well be also interested in a snorkel diver, swimming nearby.

Guided by a desire to watch exotic nocturnal-habit marine creatures, never forget about the huge risk to meet a hunting shark, which is therefore twice more dangerous.

If you have any doubts in your own abilities and capabilities, then don't risk diving where there are great chances to meet a shark face to face.

Undersea Hunting: Safety Rules and Experts' Recommendations

One can become an undersea hunter only having an enviable strength, dexterity and agility. Otherwise the hunter may become a victim of much stronger and more agile predators. If you want to experience yourself, what it means to be a predatory fish, and at the same time minimize the risk, you should know few rules and follow them while hunting undersea.

Chasing the big game, hunters usually also catch some sprat or bass fish. So remember, that a fish string with your take shouldn't ever be hooked on the belt. Because sharks can smell blood for miles. Attracted by your take sharks certainly won't limit their interest only with bass fish and will turn their attention to the hunter. Needless to say, how this encounter with the school of hungry predators may end.

Pay special attention when choosing your hunting kit. By putting on a quality wetsuit you secure yourself from accidental cuts with sharp edges of shells, corals and rocks. Even the smallest cut or injury, if it bleeds, will definitely attract sharks with the blood smell. Even the most experienced hunter, who had encountered those sharp-toothed undersea dwellers, won't say for sure how a predator will act in every situation.

In addition to the basic weapons don't forget to fasten sheath to your belt and put a knife with a firm sharp blade in it. Try to place the sheath so, that you could take the knife off before you can say 'knife' in any, even most uncomfortable position. Your security is in direct proportion to the right and reliable gear.

The underwater hunter's partner is a guarantor of his security. And if divers are accompanied by a boat with an assistant in it, this will reduce significantly the risk of your transformation from hunter to prey. The more so, because sometimes it is easier to see the rapid predator's approach from the boat.

Careless and reckless divers shouldn't take part in the undersea hunting. The depth does not condone reckless and boyish behaviour. A hunter must have a thorough physical fitness, excellent concentration ability and a serious attitude to the potential danger.

Feed the hungry shark!

Extreme relaxation is now in fashion. Chasing the popular tourist trend and guided by desire to keep up with competition, beach vacation organizers offer this dangerous entertainment to those tourists, who'd like to get more adrenaline. At the peak of this fashion there is a show for people with firm nerves, which is called "Feed the hungry shark".

Participants of the "Shark feeding" show are offered a variety of risk-steps: from simple throwing fish pieces to the water straight out of the plastic bucket and up to hand-feeding sharks at depth. Fans of extreme are guided by an experienced instructor and all the dangerous show is filmed by a group of cameramen and photographers.

Usually, people, who organize such shows, prepare them very carefully. A numerous group of professionals, who know exactly how to treat undersea predators and are familiar with all their habits, is always ready to come and rescue the participants. But the divers are also required to keep to all the rules of conduct and follow all the instructions.

Unexpected emergency cases never happen, cause all the possible scenarios are foreseen, and when there is a slightest sign of a potential danger, the group of divers is immediately drawn back to the surface. That's why this kind of entertainment, which seems too dangerous at the first sight, in reality doesn't endanger health and, of course, doesn't endanger life of the participants.

In-cage Experience or How to Approach Dangerous Predators Closely & Safely

A cage, in which people could go down to the profound depth of the ocean, was invented by ichthyologists for studying dangerous underwater world. And later divers, who wanted to get to know undersea inhabitants better, have adopted their practice.

Special design of the cage allows people inside feel absolutely safe even in close proximity to the large sharks. Firm steel bars of the cage secure the spectators even from the most furious and wicked predators of the shark family.

But those of the audience in cage should definitely have rather strong nerves. Cause a shark's snout just in few inches in front of your face, even when you are protected by steel bars, is a really shocking sight. And sometimes sharks also attack the cage vigorously, which attack can't but evoke genuine fear in many of the undersea show participants.  Another advantage of this kind of entertainment is that it doesn't require special experience, special abilities, dexterity and physical strength from the participants in cage. The most important condition for the safe in-cage experience is that nobody should pass limbs or fingers between the bars of the cage.

***

And in conclusion, we'd like to stress it out that instructors are mostly trained by their own experience, including negative experience, and many of them have scars and marks left by sharp sharks' teeth. That's why, when choosing an instructor, ask him if he had experienced close communication with sharks firsthand. If he had, than you can trust him, but even experienced instructor can't foresee all the unpredictable actions and moves a shark can take. But he knows for sure, what you shouldn't do in any case. Such knowledge has saved divers' lives not once.

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