Another video has surfaced showing a large tiger shark almost biting a scuba diver participating in a group feeding expedition in the Bahamas.
Fast-forward to the 2-minute mark and watch the diver scurry upward, in haste, to avoid an apex predator intent on chomping the bait the diver was holding near his midsection.
Now click on the following link to a video posted in early March, and watch as a different scuba diver yanks his foot from the jaws of a large tiger shark that for a moment seemed to regard the appendage as food.
Upon review, can anyone say with confidence that these types of out-of-the-cage feeding operations are safe for humans and good for sharks? Is an attack imminent in what appears to have become the Wild West of shark diving?
Granted, both videos help to illustrate that sharks are wary, specialized predators, because sharks involved in both close calls did not actually bite anyone.
But large sharks -- like large terrestrial wild animals -- are not friendly toward humans. They're powerful and unpredictable, and luring them in with the promise of food in this manner, and hand-feeding them, is asking for trouble.
Agree or disagree?
It's worth noting that the accompanying video, uploaded by a YouTube user named Robert Frixenhoff, might have been posted to illicit reaction from within the shark-diving community. The footage is from last August and watermarked into the video, on the lower right corner at the 11-second mark, is "Jim Abernethy's Scuba-Adventures.com."
Abernethy, whose dive company is in Florida, is no stranger to controversy. In 2008 one of his clients, Markus Groh, died after being bitten by a shark while diving outside a cage off Florida. In January of 2011, Abernethy was bitten on the arm by a lemon shark at the Bahamas, and air-lifted to a Florida hospital.
If the Bahamas is the Wild West of shark diving, here's hoping the next dramatic video showdown, likewise, does not involve the spilling of blood.
-- Pete Thomas