Sunday, July 21, 2013

Flashback Video: Great White Breaks Through Shark Cage

As Shark Week bears down on us, we thought it might be interesting to look back at one of the more memorable shark videos that has been circulated on the internet.

Great white destroys shark cage in Guadalupe Island, Mexico
This video was taken on November 4, 2007 at Guadalupe Island, Mexico and shows a 15 foot, 1 ton great white destroy a shark cage while two divers frantically move about to avoid the thrashing shark.  It may very well be the worst shark cage failure ever caught on video.

The incident occurred during a tourist shark dive.  As two divers waited in the cage with cameras in hand, a bait handler on the surface vessel was luring their target close to the cage with roped bait.  Unfortunately, on this occasion, the bait handler drew the shark too close to the cage and the shark was unable to turn and crashed into the viewing window.  Since sharks are not able to swim in reverse, the shark found itself stuck in the metal porthole.

Shark cage break apart (red) as great white thrashes
The shark began to violently thrash back and forth and with nearly each head shake, the cage began to fall apart.  As the protection of the cage quickly became non-existent, one diver escaped through an emergency escape hatch and was able to continue filming the event from outside the cage.  Fortunately, as the cage fell apart, the shark was able to free itself and swim off.

Neither diver was injured and according to the tour operator, the shark appeared relatively unscathed.  By most accounts, the blame for this accident rested with both the deckhand for enticing the shark too close to the cage and poor construction of the cage which was 6 years old at the time of the accident.  The video was shot by Patrick Walsh and was uploaded on Youtube by ScubaDubaDive.  The first part shows the breaking of the cage in slow motion and then it show the entire sequence of events (including the conclusion) at normal speed.