The right SCUBA gear for shark dives 07/12/2011

The right SCUBA gear for shark dives

Diving with wild sharks is an exhilarating experience for scuba divers to have. Imagine the thrill of being in the water with these jagged-toothed giants, whilst they hunt for prey around you. There are many dive sites around the world where it is possible to dive with large varieties of shark, and divers are constantly seeking new areas where they can be close to these enormous fish.
However, shark diving is of course a dangerous sport, and divers should ensure that they follow all the necessary safety procedures. One area that has come to attention in recent years regards the diving equipment that divers should use when diving with sharks. An experienced scuba diver was attacked in South Africa during the annual sardine run by a 10-foot ling Dusky Shark. Thankfully the shark attack was not fatal, but the diver was badly injured in the incident. It is unusual for these sharks to bite humans, but what seemed to have provoked the shark in this instance were the fins that the diver was using.
The diver was wearing split fins with grey and black stripes. It is believed that this piece of diving equipment was the reason for the shark attack, as the animal mistook the diver’s fins for a small shoal of fish. Now many dive centres are recommending that divers do not wear this type of fin when it is likely that they will be diving with sharks. Split fins are easier to swim with, but they do require divers to kick more, which generates more movement and is likely to encourage sharks. On a shark dive, divers really do not want to be drawing unnecessary attention to themselves.
It is therefore suggested that when diving with sharks, divers wear non-split, dark coloured fins. Recommended diving equipment for shark dives also includes a hood and gloves. All dive gear should be dark in colour, and divers should especially avoid wearing white or yellow. Be wary of fins, masks, gloves or wetsuits with large amounts of pale colours on them. In order to avoid a shark attack, it is also recommended for scuba divers to remove any jewellery before getting in the water, as the glint of the metal may well attract sharks. Divers should dive together, as sharks are less likely to attack groups of people.