If you think it’s only the Bull or Great White shark you have to worry about tasting you when you’re in the water then I have news for you…watch of for the Silky Shark! The following story comes from my first email newsletter from Sharkdiver.com – a site and service that takes divers from San Diego to Islands around Mexico to go cage diving with Great White sharks. Though I’m not into anything extreme (you’ll never find me plane diving or bungee jumping) and, for a Los Angeles girl, I really don’t like the beach but man, I am saving up to go into a cage with 100 foot visibility to share some space with these magnificent and terrifying shark. I can hear it now…cage goes into the water, Caryn goes into the water, sharks in the water…our shark. I always thought I’d have to go to Australia or South Africa to live out this dream but to know I can do it right here in Southern California will eventually make my dream reality.
For the past several years Shark Diver has run cage diving operations with Great White sharks and never once had any kind of issues one might expect when dealing with giant apex marine predators. Probabaly because we spend our time with these amazing animals behind bars. In fact we are one of the few operators world wide who can make this claim.
So, you can imagine our surprise this spring when quite out of the blue, we were at the right place at the wrong time for a shark encounter that turned out to be a once in a lifetime encounter for the diver in question…and a real lesson for us to the sheer, raw, nature of sharks.
A smaller group of divers had joined us on one of our Whale Shark jumps in Utila, Honduras this spring. The WS we were after was at the surface feeding on a bait-ball when our group slid into the water for a rare close up encounter. Within seconds of the divers entering the water one called out that she had been “bumped”. My crew sprang into action and recovered her right away to discover-quite to our initial surprise-that she had acquired a small bite to her lower leg.
She was a real trooper, as a trauma nurse back home, with her husband who was a surgeon we got her stablized and back to Utila in less than an hour. Shark Diver also called her in a medi-flight to the main land that afternoon. The final synopsis? She had been bitten by a small Silky Shark that had probably mistaken her leg for a tuna in all the confusion. The actual wound while looking raw was healing nicely within a week. It’s a rare encounter with a wild apex predator that once again reminded us that what we offer are real expeditions-encounters with wildlife…sometimes you just might be surprised at what’s out there!