Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fatal Shark Attack on a SCUBA Diver in the Bahamas

For those of you who know me you'll know I'll have plenty of thoughts on this but for now I'd like to let the story unfold and the facts come out. From what I've read thus far including the coverage on Wetpixel and Dive Photo Guide there has been a fatal attack on a 59 year old man during a shark feeding dive in the Bahamas. It appears the man was bitten on the leg, possibly by a Bull shark and although the initial event was not fatal the man later died with speculation as to cause of death being either blood loss from his injuries or an air embolism caused by a rapid ascent.

Obviously, a horrible event and one that will bring forth a lot of discussion hopefully after proper respect is given to the man who lost his life and to those who tried to save him. The devastation felt by family members goes without saying but I will attest to the fact that it will also be felt by the crew of the dive operation. Fortunately for me (and the crew at the time) my only first person account of a death to date involved a dive instructor diving solo over a deep wall. Not that the method of loss makes it any easier especially when it's a friend but, I can't imagine what it would be like if I perceived myself as being potentially responsible in some way.

As I say much more to be said on this subject as with the "MVA visits the House" story. I'll have a follow up on that subject very soon but, man, there's a lot to say!


Mark James said...

From what I've read so far, be it right or wrong he knew what he was getting into. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of a man that must have loved adventure.

Get the rest of the story and share your insite with us Mr. Tripp.

bigsoxfan said...

Dumb ass and an industry catering to dumb asses. I have no kind thoughts on the man or his family at all. I do hope he didn't have children to pass his dumb ass genes down to.

Strangely, I don't think the Bahama's shark feeding tourism business will suffer for more time, than it takes for this comment thread to wind down. No offense on your ability to draw comments, just a comment on what will be a short lived drama story.

For a really good shark story; read about Harry B's encounter with a decent sized shark in the channel off Wing(?) beach. Hell, I used to snorkel in place at the boat channel around the Tanapeg meeting house, waiting to see one swim by, all I saw were Rays and Lion fish, but loved every anticipatory minute of it. Feeding sharks and then getting in the water? Here, hold my beer while I light this.

scubatripp said...

Man, maybe I should start looking at the world from just one edge instead of being in the middle looking at all sides. It might make life a lot less complicated, I guess.

He apparently had (has) a 12-year-old daughter.

I'd sure like to see you tell her that her "dumb ass daddy" was the first to have ever died in such a shark feeding experience?

What if her "dumb ass daddy" was a world famous underwater photographer with countless hours of experience documenting shark behavior for millions of people? Perhaps ultimately contributing to the reduction of shark fining around the world. And, if its not already too late, ultimately saving a species or two from extinction.

Or what if he was just a Joe Shmoe who recognizes that millions of people have participated in shark feeding dives and trust the experience of the guides while understanding the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fortunately, you left two other thoughts that prevent you from getting your own dumb ass label from the first one.

The Bahamian industry will suffer if cooler heads don't prevail and they shut down the industry. Even if certain restrictions become necessary for both humans and sharks there will be implications.

As far as comments go I'm not sure I'll have as much time as say lil hammer to respond to so many but when they are relevant to the thread and add to the discussion they are encouraging.

I agree on Harry's story at Wing.
There's also a good video of sharks in the grotto at the end of this post of a dive I did with him! I'm a little biased but it was a fun day just getting as close as I could to without disturbing things.

Rays and lionfish = Ice cream and Obyan, I could use some ice in my R&C.

bigsoxfan said...

Yeah, my cup of compassion was running a little low yesterday. Feeding a shark isn't quite in my comfort zone, but to each their own. I'm surprised this is this the first fatality and that fact fills my cup of compassion somewhat.

One ironic shark story. The fellow who swam with the monster Great White in Hawaii a couple of winters ago, ended up buying the farm in a BASE jump. I'm just happy to survive crossing the streets on a daily basis without that sort of excitement.