Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Video: Swimmer in Bora Bora Bear Hugs Shark and Goes For a Ride

We are continuing to see an increase in the number of videos coming out showing people riding sharks. So many in fact that we now have an index for it on the blog: Riding a Shark.

The early videos were usually put out by individuals who had years of experience around sharks.  In most of those cases, they would acknowledge that there was risk involved but they were able to minimize that risks due to their understanding of shark behavior and their ability to read the animals.

But this new growing trend is with ordinary folks spotting a shark and then deciding to have a go.  In the video below which just came out, vacationers in Bora Bora were having a good time swimming with some lemon sharks when a few of the swimmers decided it was time to go for a ride (22 second mark).  But the one guy shown in the video takes it to a whole new level when he swings around to the bottom of the shark, gives it a bear hug and and hangs on as the shark swims.  With his head just below the shark's mouth, he rides it for several seconds before finally letting go (28 second mark).

According to Grant Murdock who posted the video, he too rode a shark and noted that the sharks didn't appear to mind and that it was like an "outer body experience."

Specifically he described the encounter as such, "I wish somebody was able to record my swim of this nature, but sadly i did not have the presence of mind to record myself doing this same action. The Sharks were so gentle and accepting of our advances. They didn't seem to mind at all that we were riding for free. It was as close to an out of body experience that I have ever felt. Thank you Sharky"

So what do you think, is the growing practice of riding sharks going too far?  Weigh in on our Facebook page.

Our 'shark rider' story posted in Slate Magazine.