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Thread: Shark Trouble

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    Shark Trouble

    I recently saw two different videos of people being attacked by bull sharks. Bull sharks seem to occasionally, and deliberately, attack people as a food source.

    I saw a guy in Prachup Khiri Khan a couple of months ago, who had what appeared to be a big chunk of his calf missing. Based upon the teeth marks, I assumed it was a shark (too wide a bite to be a python or a mammal bite).

    I was wondering just how frequently people who swim, snorkel, or dive in Thailand get attacked?

    Having spent a lifetime as a hunter in areas that contain dangerous game (bears, lion, etc), I know that more times than not, a dangerous animal sneaks in close and watches, apparently trying to decide whether to attack or not, before slinking off.

    People who haven't learned to read tracks and other sign, are totally oblivious to how close and how often they have been stalked, only to have the animal to break it off.

    I suspect the same thing happens many times with sharks, with only a tiny few actually resulting in attacks.

    What has been the experience and opinions of shark encounters with the TD divers?

    RickThai

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    Like any type of information that is manipulated to be of the extreme yet in the high minority. Promotion of sensationalism that has no merit.

    Naturally, we'll only hear about those odd occasions that sharks interactly fiercely with humans, resulting in negative dispositions towards these creatures.

    Less is thought of the millions of instances [or examples] where sharks and humans interact in the same space and nothing comes of it.

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    eh? sharks are killers... if they see food, they take it...

    you cant become friend with a shark...
    ok surin, maybe you can..

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    Quote Originally Posted by alitongkat
    if they see food, they take it...
    I'm on a seefood diet...I see food and I eat it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by alitongkat
    if they see food, they take it...
    I'm on a seefood diet...I see food and I eat it...

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    So good he said it twice !

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    And he's also a very funny guy.

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    Even the experts get it wrong.

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    Wild animals have a natural fear of man. Here the Great White has become familiarised with man.Tourist money. Feed the sharks,touch them,and now there are shark attacks where once there where none.

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    If I thought, for one moment, that Sharks were near me, in the water, I would never go in the sea again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alitongkat View Post
    eh? sharks are killers... if they see food, they take it...

    you cant become friend with a shark...
    ok surin, maybe you can..
    Not all sharks are killers at all. There are many species that will never attack humans and many more where it is almost unheard of (although not impossible)

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    ^ Beggars belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickThai View Post
    I recently saw two different videos of people being attacked by bull sharks. Bull sharks seem to occasionally, and deliberately, attack people as a food source.

    .......

    People who haven't learned to read tracks and other sign, are totally oblivious to how close and how often they have been stalked, only to have the animal to break it off.
    Do you have a picture of some typical shark tracks?


  • #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickThai View Post
    What has been the experience and opinions of shark encounters with the TD divers?
    I can probably speak for 90% of the scuba diving community.

    Diving with sharks is an all too rare privilidge.

    Its one of the best diving experiences.

  • #16
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    You used to regularly get them at Chumporn pinnacle near Koh Tao. There was even a big old bull shark there. They can be a bit intimidating for the new divers but generally they keep their distance. The trouble is the Thai fishermen occasionally dynamite fish the pinnacle and chase away the sharks.
    The vast majority of shark attacks happen in less than three feet of water so diving is fairly safe.
    Treat everyone as a complete and utter idiot and you can only ever be pleasantly surprised !

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    In decades of diving, i only had one negative experience. While diving off the Maldives in 1978, I had a very large hammerhead become quite interested in me. He circled me for a while, made a run at me and broke off a few meters from me. He went back to circling, and made a second run. He then went away. Almost forgot - when diving off Jeddah in the Red Sea in 1987, I jumped off a very high dhow (Arab boat) and landed on a shark of some kind - he fled, and so did I.

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    I see sharks, usually spinners*, nearly every time I swim at our local beach in Palm Beach County, FL. My son and I were treated to a roughly 2-meter spinner shooting out of the water in front of us like a Polaris missile the last time we were at our beach before returning to Thailand. Even when we don't see them it is assumed they are there. The lifeguards don't even bother calling the bathers in when sharks are sighted (were they to do so basically no-one would ever be allowed in the water where we live), and according to them there has only been a single attack in 25 years, on a child in water about knee-deep. The water is quite clear where we swim, and were it not I would probably be a bit more concerned about a body part being mistaken for prey. As it is, the spinners, which are large, incredibly fast and sleek, are a welcome sight, although when you see one surfing a wave, in the same manner as a dolphin, and coming straight at you it does increase the heart rate. For the uninitiated it can be a bit too much- I was swimming at that beach with an English mate when a dorsal fin popped out about a meter in front of us. He's a big man and I had no idea he could move that quickly.

    I have had only two dodgy shark encounters in my life- once confronted by a blacktip reef shark off Tioman doing classic territorial threat behavior (jack-knifing) that was both memorable and easily resolved by my fucking off, and once I was freediving a wreck off a Florida beach when a big fat bull shark developed a disconcerting interest in me. DK's story above reminded me of that encounter, and I recall the second approach of the fat beady-eyed bastard most vividly. Not something I need to experience again.

    *No, not that kind of spinner.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  • #19
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    Mate of mine used to go out to the "Jeddah Wreck" with a wad of frozen fish.

    As it thawed out it would attract sharks in and he'd feed them. He never had any trouble but always kept his back against the wreck so that he'd be sure none came from behind.

    I was never brave enough to attempt it.

    I was doing a night dive with this same friend another time when a small shark got freaked out. It was only about 40cm long but it got between us and was acting very aggressive. I was only concerned that its big brother might be lurking just out of torch range.

    Other friends encountered a bull shark circling them at the end of a dive. They were on the bottom waiting to ascend to the boat and tried to stay down until it moved on. But their air was getting low so eventually had no choice.
    While they ascended the bull was very interested in them, but didn't make any contact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TizMe View Post
    Mate of mine used to go out to the "Jeddah Wreck" with a wad of frozen fish.

    As it thawed out it would attract sharks in and he'd feed them. He never had any trouble but always kept his back against the wreck so that he'd be sure none came from behind.

    I was never brave enough to attempt it.
    Just as well, it's unwise and unfair to other divers when the sharks start associating divers with a free meal.

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    Can't remember seeing one in my 2 dozen Thai dives.

    Done most of my diving 70 km out in the red sea. See sharks every dive. Even had a 2 meter white tip buddy up with us on one dive. We were traveling too slow so he would loop around and join us again.

    For photo ops we use a handheld depth pinger to ping them in.

    One pinnacle has a school of juvenile black tip reef sharks. They are aggressive. They appear out of the depths with backs arched and fins lowered then form a semi circle taking turns to jack knife at us. I've seen them nip a buddies fins as he climbed into the rib.

    Scariest moment was taking a pic of a buddy with my back towards the ocean. His eyes suddenly enlarged as he pointed out past me. I turned round just in time to see a big mother with huge belly heading straight towards me.

    He veered off as I turned. All I remember seeing was a huge black eye and big belly accompanied by a dozen yellow striped fish swim past at arms length.

    Also patted wobbegong sharks on the great barrier reef.

  • #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by samh View Post
    Can't remember seeing one in my 2 dozen Thai dives.
    There don't seem to be many. Off Thailand (all Andaman) I've seen a whale shark, leopard sharks, nurse sharks, and guitarfish (which are elongated rays), and white-tip reef sharks, and none in great numbers (although I know an instructor who took three guys down for their OW checkout dive at Phi-Phi, whereupon they encountered five whale sharks in formation. . .would be tough to top that). Same goes for the PI.

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    Not a shark tale, but nevertheless...........I was in the Maldives, about 30 feet down, swimming along the wall, and facing the wall. Just chilling, and looking at little critters living in/on the wall. Boom! Something slammed into my back, smashing me into the wall so hard I spit out my mouthpiece and cracked the lens on my mask - not to mention scraping the hell out of my front and knocking the wind out of me. I'm, of course, thinking shark, as the cold water shark channel is below me. As I get reoriented, I see two huge grouper, one looked about the size of a VW, feeding their way along the wall. Guess I was in the pushy bastard's way. Off to the beach for a change of swim trunks, and a new mask.

  • #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Not a shark tale, but nevertheless...........I was in the Maldives, about 30 feet down, swimming along the wall, and facing the wall. Just chilling, and looking at little critters living in/on the wall. Boom! Something slammed into my back, smashing me into the wall so hard I spit out my mouthpiece and cracked the lens on my mask - not to mention scraping the hell out of my front and knocking the wind out of me. I'm, of course, thinking shark, as the cold water shark channel is below me. As I get reoriented, I see two huge grouper, one looked about the size of a VW, feeding their way along the wall. Guess I was in the pushy bastard's way. Off to the beach for a change of swim trunks, and a new mask.
    A proper shark would never do something so rude- he'll bite your leg off or let you be. There is a good video on YouT of a big grouper stealing a snapper from a spearfisherman, maybe somebody can find it. . .the biggest Florida grouper has been renamed "Goliath grouper" from "jewfish." From Jew to Philistine. . .

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    Whale sharks are something I dream of seeing.

    The only shark deaths I remember from my red sea diving areas were 2 filipinos spear fishing off the beach about a year apart. Both were trailing speared fish.

    I got hit hard by a barracuda on a night dive once. It swam down the torch beam and hit me on the forearm. Felt like I'd been hit by a hammer.

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