Saturday, May 11, 2013

Video: Kimi Werner Freedives with Great White

In this Variables video, Patagonia ambassador Kimi Werner strives to find her place in the ecosystem and discusses her remarkable free dive with a great white shark.

"My hand reached out and connected with her dorsal fin and we just started to glide together.  I know she could've eaten me at any second had she wanted to, but in this moment we were just two animals, two predators swimming together.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Free Diver Attacked by Bull Shark Off East Africa on March 29th, 2013

Shark attack survivor Richard Parkinson reached out to us via Facebook to tell us about his shark incident which occurred in the waters of East Africa on March 29, 2013.

In his own words…Richard posted the following account on his FB page:

Shark attack survivor Richard Parkinson shows bite injury
"On Friday, 29th March, while training free-diving (no spear gun) in East Africa, I was ready to ascend from a 100 ft dive when a big bullshark (some experts are saying 7 ft long after analyzing the bite) for me it was honestly 9 to 10 ft long, it approached me from about 100 ft away with an unusual behavior, very alert and curious, more interested in me than any other shark I've seen.

I started my ascent expecting the usual last minute turn-around-and-gone move they always do. However, it kept coming closer, and when it was about 10 ft away, really increased speed and reached my left leg in what seemed less than a second, he bit between the knee and ankle, shook its head a couple of times and released me.

One of my fins fell out in the commotion but I managed to reach the surface with one fin, while praying he didn't come for a second bite. The boat came quickly after hearing my screams. Immediately on the boat, a tourniquet stopped the heavy arterial bleeding and doctors say is what kept me alive for the 70 mile trip back to the main island where I got treated.

Special thanks to the team and all the people who helped me through. This behavior in the shark still makes no sense to me, but reminds us they are 100% unpredictable. It's still a very happy outcome considering the magnitude of the event."

On April 16, Richard had his stitches removed.  He still cannot walk and it will take several months for his nerves and tendons to regenerate.  Following the removal of the stitches, they reapplied another cast to further assist with the healing. Richard does expect to have a full recovery.

Richard commented that he still likes sharks and that they played an important role in him becoming a Marine Biologist.  But what has changed for Richard is his confidence.  He always felt comfortable in the presence of sharks no matter their size.  But for now, that is gone.  He doesn't know what his feelings will be the next time he encounters a shark underwater but added that he still appreciates and respects them.

Surprisingly, Richard’s attack has never been covered in the media.  He has reported the incident to Dr. Burgess, Director of the International Shark Attack File, and to Dr. Gruber, Professor at the University of Miami's Rosential School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, but to date has not received a reply.  He also has reached out to Dr. Erich Ritter, the executive director of SAVN™, the Shark Accident Victim Network, and Dr. Ritter told Richard that he would include the attack in their list.

Thank you to Richard for letting us share his story (and photo) and we all wish him a quick and complete recovery.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Video: Kayaker Catch and Release Shark Fishing in Wales

Kayak fisherman catches and release shark
The following video was posted on Youtube by YAKFISHERUK and brought to our attention by one of our Facebook followers, Garry Holland.

The video shows a kayak fisherman in Wales catch and release two fairly sizable tope sharks.

What I found most fascinating about the video was the fisherman's complete confidence in handling the two sharks.  Both sharks were flailing about at times and appeared to come close to landing a bite on the angler.  And judging by this description of topes from the Marinebio website, these fish have the ability to land a nasty bite: "Tope sharks have a long, pointed snout, large mouth, and small sharp, blade-like teeth."

The video is 5:53 in length.  Photo above is a screenshot.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Surfing Honeymooner Killed by Shark Off Reunion Island

Shark flags are raised at Brisants de Saint-Gilles
A 36-year-old French national, who was on his honeymoon, was killed by a shark while surfing off Brisants de Saint-Gilles beach on Reunion Island.

The surfer was attacked twice by a shark and sustained bites to his arm and thigh. A nearby swimmer witnessed the attack and alerted lifeguards who then retrieved the victim and brought him to shore.

The victim was in cardiac arrest and rescuers were unable to revive him. The victim's wife was on the beach at the time of the attack.

Last year, there were two separate shark related incidents on the island. The first one resulted in a fatality and in the second incident, the victim lost an arm and leg but survived.

News Accounts: 
- Shark Attack: Man Killed Off Reunion Island (Sky News)
- French honeymooner killed by a shark while surfing in front of his wife at beach resort in Indian Ocean (Daily Mail)
- French honeymooner killed by shark in Reunion island (AFP)
Photo from Daily Mail (click link above for more photos)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Video: Shark Bites Diver's Air Hose During Florida Wreck Dive

Shark bites diver's air hose.
The following Youtube video was posted on May 1, 2013 and shows a diver struggling with air management following a shark bite on his primary air hose.  The incident occurred while several divers were exploring a wreck in Key Largo, FL.

As the diver's penetrate the wreck, you catch a brief glimpse of the shark as it leaves the area after biting one of the divers air hoses (15 second mark).  Following the bite, the diver immediately turns to one of his buddies who assist him in retrieving his back up regulator.  At this point (45 seconds), you see the shark, which they label 'Mr Trouble,' passing in front of the divers.

Photo: NatGeo Snorkeling with Sharks

Photo by Tim McKenna - In Moorea, French Polynesia, the warm, turquoise-blue waters are often the place for some special encounters. Swimming among the sharks, the rays, and the varied variety of fish is quite easy.

Snorkeling with Sharks in Moorea, French Polynesia

Photo: NatGeo Up Close Great White

Eye Level With a Great White- National Geographic 
Photograph by Stephen Frink Collection

Great white

Discovery News: Why Shark Embryos Eat Each Other Up in Utero

Shark embryo
May 1, 2013 
By Tia Ghose, LiveScience 

Shark embryos cannibalize their littermates in the womb, with the largest embryo eating all but one of its siblings. 

Now, researchers know why: It's part of a struggle for paternity in utero, where babies of different fathers compete to be born... 

Read the full article here (includes more photos)
Photo from article

Daily Mail: Sneaky whale shark caught trying to take a bite out of fisherman's bulging net

Award-winning photographer Michael Aw captured this incredible images while on a trip to Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesia.  View the article with many more photos at:

Whale shark steals fish from net in Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia