Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pro Surfer Mark Healey Stiff Arms 12 Foot Tiger Shark

Mark Healey fends off aggressive tiger shark
Surfing Magazine has just posted this short video showing pro surfer Mark Healey stiff arming a 12 foot tiger shark.  The brief video caption jokingly refers to Mark as a part-time NFL running back.

Upon checking further, I found that the video was just used in an article released by Surfing Magazine discussing whether the growing practice of people riding sharks is a good thing or not.  (Sharks: To ride, or not to ride?)

In the article, they discuss with Mark about his thoughts on the practice as he has experience riding large sharks.  He notes that if you know what you are doing and can read the shark's body language, it is a manageable risk.  But he cautions, that there is still risk involved and that one has to be willing to accept it. And that's were the below video comes into play.

Mark Healey & Roberta Mancion ride tiger shark
As an example of the inherent risks, the article includes a video showing Mark riding a tiger shark and then having a female friend,  Roberta Mancino, join him for a brief period. He explains that his friend had never done so but at the time, the shark was mellow and disinterested and he felt comfortable having her join him (second video below starting at the 6:00 mark).

However, approximately an hour later, as they were both heading back to the boat, the very same shark that they had earlier been peacefully engaged with ended up making a b-line towards Mark, who was swimming on the surface, and he had to fend it off with his hands.  He notes that the video shows just how quickly things can change (first video below).

Check out the Surfing Magazine article to hear more about Mark's thoughts on the practice of riding sharks including his thoughts on Ocean Ramsey and Kimi Werner who are famous for swimming with large sharks as they put forth their conservation messages.  Click on Ocean & Kimi's name for swimming with shark videos.