By Pete Thomas/GrindTv
There are divers who say they like to swim freely with large sharks to dispel perceptions that sharks are blood-thirsty predators, and there are divers who counter that these people are mostly thrill-seeking showoffs who are risking their lives and not doing sharks any favors.
The two sides can debate all they want, but the photographer in the accompanying footage, even if the shark was only investigating a potential meal, did come very close to losing his head to the shark.
At the very least, were it not for his cat-like reflexes, it seems as if he would have been bitten. The video, uploaded three weeks ago, was slow to gain traction but it appeared Monday on Fiji’s Beqa Adventure Divers’ blog, under the title, “Attempted Bite!”
Clearly, Beqa Adventure Divers is not a fan of how some divers conduct themselves when diving outside of cages. The blog post contains a photo showing a man’s bloody leg after it was bitten by a shark, followed by the video showing the close call with the photographer. Both locations were said to be Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. The blog post reads:
"And here we go again. This is, undoubtedly, Tiger Beach. And this is the direct consequence of all those idiots, charlatans, media whores, whisperers, warriors, men and girls and whathaveyou that claim to be dispelling the myth by suggesting that those large predatory Sharks are completely harmless.
They are not.
They are not puppies that only want to hug, or whatever, but instead dangerous and potentially lethal wildlife. As a minimum, give them the … respect of acknowledging what they are!”
The video reminded us of similar footage captured in 2012, showing a diver eluding a tiger shark, at Tiger Beach, that nearly bit the diver's leg.
Some of Beqa’s criticism might also have been directed toward Jim Abernethy, a controversial dive master who claims to enjoy a special bond with a large tiger shark named Tarantino, and whose footage uploaded in early December seems to support that contention.
Tiger Beach is world famous for the close encounters divers enjoy during out-of-cage excursions that involve sharks lured to dive sites with bait. Some operators, however, utilize safer methods than others. And sharks, despite what anyone says, are wild animals and, therefore, unpredictable.
Just ask the diver who nearly lost his head.