Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Video: Violent Struggle Ensues as Nurse Shark Rips Fish Off Spearfisherman's Stringer

Diver spots shark before the attack
Diver spots shark
Talk about going from 0 to 100 in a split second, this video of a nurse shark charging a spearfisherman's catch, which was attached to his waist, will most definitely get your heart racing.

The video starts by lulling you into a sense of peacefulness as it shows a spearfisherman, Donald Robertson, and two dive buddies floating through the deep blue waters off Boynton Beach in southeast Florida.  Donald has a GoPro camera attached to his head and we see him settle to the ocean floor to load another spear for his speargun.  At this point, he already has a hog fisher attached to his waist via a stringer.

Nurse shark latches onto spearfisherman's catch and diver fights off the attack
Nurse shark latches onto spearfisherman's catch
At the 0:38 mark, we see his dive buddy waving and yelling at him from a far off distance.  Donald briefly looks up at his buddy but then turns his attention back to his gear. Within a few seconds later, we hear yelling as Donald looks to his right and finds a nurse shark locked onto the hog fish which was attached to him.

In the violent struggle that ensues, Donald looses his grip on his speargun and he must use his hands to fight off the shark. But Donald's defense leaves the shark undeterred and at the 0:52 mark, we see the shark tear off the lower have of the hog fish. But apparently this shark was quite hungry as it immediately comes back for the head portion.  At this point, one of Donald's dive buddies appears in the picture and begins jabbing the shark with the blunt end of a fixed pole spear.  This was enough to convince the shark to back off and we then see it swim down to the ocean floor. We also see the head portion of the hog fish floating through the water.

Shark swims away after attacking diver spearfisherman
Shark swims away
Donald said that in the future, he will definitely use a lift bag to immediately send the fish to the boat after catching it.  He did tell us that he caught a second hog fish later in the dive and immediately took that one to the boat since the same nurse shark was still hanging around the area.

According to the Florida Naturual History Museum, nurse sharks are "mainly non-aggressive, (and) generally will swim away when approached. However, some unprovoked attacks on swimmers and divers have been reported. If disturbed it may bite with a powerful vice-like grip capable of inflicting serious injury."

Above photos are screenshots from the video (posted by Donald Robertson)