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Shark bite on Shear Water, Bahamas


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#21 biminitwist

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:39 PM

I was sickened by Watson's comments on Drew's Channel 5 news link. People that love diving with sharks should pull together when a terrible accident like this happens. If Jim needs any testimonials to his safe operation the line will be long. John

#22 Brumpy

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:55 PM

I was sickened by Watson's comments on Drew's Channel 5 news link. People that love diving with sharks should pull together when a terrible accident like this happens. If Jim needs any testimonials to his safe operation the line will be long. John


It is really bad what happend, and i think we sharklovers/divers need to do somthing now!
All the stupid comments i am getting sick of it!

I am leaving in 4 weeks for 2 trips in a row shark diving with the other boat there "Dolphin Dream" and i do not have eny problem going in with these lovely annimals even after this unlucky accident!
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#23 SimonSpear

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:11 PM

I've just had a phone call about this incident so news is spreading fast it seems.

I think no matter what your opinion is on shark chumming or shark feeding then right now our thoughts have to be with the family of the deceased. Also god knows what's going through the minds of the boat operators right now. I don't know Jim Abernathy personally, but I've heard nothing but praise for him and his operation in the past and I'm sure he's devastated by this incident.

On this website we all know that diving with large predatory sharks could potentially be dangerous, even life threatening, but it's a chance that we take as photographers, videographers and more importantly shark lovers. There will be plenty of time to debate the repercussions, but for now I'm just terribly sad for all kinds of reasons, not least the additional bad publicity that it's going to create in addition to those I've already expressed.

It truly is a sad, sad day :)

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#24 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:45 PM

After we instantly plugged a German translation very similar to the WETPIXEL post this morning, the Austrian Online Web Magazine nullzeit.at now also has a report on the case. It features - fasten your seatbelt - an interview with Dr. Erich Ritter, who is still very popular here in Germany. The highlight of that interview is that Dr. Ritter claims to have seen all this coming.

Dr. Erich Ritter im Gespraech mit nullzeit.at meinte, war der Unfall insgesamt auch vorherzusehen. "Bereits im Jaenner habe ich vor einem demnaechst drohenden Unfall bei dieser Art des Haitauchens gewarnt, doch es wollte niemand auf mich hoeren", erklaert der renommierte Haiforscher gegenueber nulzeit.at.

Nullzeit.at also reports that Dr. Ritter was approached by officials to investigate the case. I think Jim Abernethy will be very happy to hear about that. Just as I am,... As today Dr. Ritter started a lawsuit with DIGIDEEP.com accusing us to demote his academic title in public.

For those who do not understand German, please use these links,
to translate the German reports @ nullzeit.at and DIGIDEEP.com.

Here is also a link to the German Echoes in our Forum, which is very
similar to the responses seen with WETPIXEL users, here. No Surprise...
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#25 bmyates

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:34 PM

For those who do not understand German, please use these links,
to translate the German reports @ nullzeit.at and DIGIDEEP.com.


The first German report includes the following, which I found interesting. If it is correct, he didn't die from the bite, but perhaps from PE due to rapid (panic) ascent.

> According to last news was the cause of death also is not the Haibiss, but apparently the panic was too fast rise of the diver to the surface...The resulting pulmonary embolism may have caused the deaths. <

I doubt the media will highlight that not-insignificant detail... <_<

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#26 loftus

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:45 PM

Hopefully the real details will be clarified as soon as possible to minimize the speculation. Sad day.
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#27 TheRealDrew

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:43 PM

I doubt the media will highlight that not-insignificant detail... <_<


The cause of death in the reports is all speculation and really does not change the situation nor would it change the underlying fact that the person died from a shark bite - yes the ascent could be the cause and the press may ignore it, but it does not serve the interest of anyone (at least IMO) who involved in trying to stop sharks from being potrayed in a certain way to say "the shark did not cause this person's death." As divers we understand the difference between the two.

As Simon mentioned, just a sad story for all involved - the diver, his friends and family and Jim and the others.

#28 jonny shaw

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:21 PM

My thoughts are with every one involved.... very sad!

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#29 Frazier Nivens

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:39 PM

I feel sad that a fellow diver who wanted the opportunity to interact with some of the world's most fascinating animals has died from a unfortunate accident. Hopefully we'll all be a little more careful. But this is an accident.

I'm also sickened by the news channels and reporting of misinformation. They should wait till the get the real story. You'd think it happened off Ft. Lauderdale from some of the reports.

I for one will certainly be more careful. I'm leaving on March 5th for Tiger Beach, hopefully this will not cause the trip to not go or cause a wonderful experience like shark diving to be shut down.
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#30 echeng

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:16 PM

Attention all shark divers: certain individuals have already started mudslinging in the media. Instead of participating in any of that, we'd like to provide a place for positive words about all parties involved in yesterday's unfortunate shark bite accident in the Bahamas. If you have anything to say in support of Markus Groh (the diver who passed away), Jim Abernethy, the M/V Shear Water, or her crew, please leave a comment at the bottom of this message or contact us with your message.

We'd love a place to collect stories about Jim's dedication to sharks. If you've got a cool story about how Jim or his crew made you love sharks or gave you the best shark dive of your life, please share it with us! We're also interested in anecdotes about his operation and character. If you have a story about Markus Groh (whom I did not know), please share it here, as well.

Please only comment if you've been out on the Shear Water or if you knew Markus personally. This is not the venue for sharing random speculation.

Share your stories here: http://wetpixel.com/...-v-shear-water/
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#31 Drew

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:58 PM

Speculating the cause of death right now is useless. Let's wait for the Medical Examiner's official call. We don't know what killed him and there are numerous reasons of how he could've died.
All we do know is he died after being bitten by a shark. Let's not join in the hysteria of speculation that has already started.
Wetpixel has already been quoted on WPTV 5 as a source. I think to be responsible, we should minimize the conjecture and speculation and wait for the ME's final word.

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#32 shawnh

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:11 PM

Considering how much Jim has enriched so many divers lives, I hope they can now take just a moment reach out with support and share their testimonials.
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#33 Marco_Schulze

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:35 AM

As today Dr. Ritter started a lawsuit with DIGIDEEP.com accusing us to demote his academic title in public


Whoopsy Daisy. :)

It seems he is getting more popular with each passing day.

Is there anyone he doesn`t want to add to his long list .................?

#34 echeng

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:48 AM

Hey, guys. If you want to do something to support Jim Abernethy and his diving operation, there is a separate thread here that talks about what you can do:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=23225
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#35 Drew

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:48 AM

Whoopsy Daisy.

It seems he is getting more popular with each passing day.

Is there anyone he doesn`t want to add to his long list .................?

I think there's enough mud slinging going around without having more about someone else. There'll be plenty of time in the days ahead to do the rest. Please try to keep on topic for this thread for obvious reasons.
Thanks for your understanding.

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#36 lewinp

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:59 AM

I was deeply saddened to see this news, which appeared in a local paper in Zurich, Switzerland where I live. And the coverage was much more objective and less sensationalized than the US media.

I have been on the Shearwater three times, on many dives with bait in the water and tiger and lemon sharks around. The Shearwater crew always stressed safety and appreciation of these animals. The sad fact is no matter how safe you are and how you follow the rules, it is not reasonable to assume this activity is without risk. Its a risk every diver who stepped off the boat was aware of, but unfortunately not many see as a serious possibility once the sharks showed up and the shutters started clicking.

Its only natural to want to blame someone for such senseless losses - the shark, Jim Abernathy, the dive industry. The fact of the matter is someone who exposed themselves to a risk paid the ultimate price, but they did it doing something they loved.

My sincere condolences and prayers go to the family of this diver.

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#37 loftus

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:42 AM

I personally did not know Markus Groh, but I can feel quite certain that if I had met him on Jim's boat we would have quite quickly developed a sense of camaraderie, and become friends, as I did with all the divers I have met on his boat before. Not only do divers on the Shearwater automatically share a love for sharks and diving just by being there, but with Jim as the enthusiastic team leader, by the end of the trip, the divers have become part of a big family who have shared Jim's love for these remarkable animals. I hope that somehow my condolences can be transmitted to the family of Markus, and I would like to participate in any such gesture that Wetpixel might consider. (Particularly those who have been part of the Shearwater family)

Edited by loftus, 26 February 2008 - 04:48 AM.

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#38 pmooney

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 07:41 AM

Once a diver has been part of the Shearwater experience their fascination with sharks becomes something of an ethereal experience - a consuming passion - often difficult to articulate to people who have yet to go diving with Jim and his team. Safety is always their first priority - their experience - their understanding - their focus - that willingness to "Get the shot" - to go the extra mile. The constant lookout for every ones safety & well being is always there - not just now and then - always.

Thats what sets the team at JASA head & shoulders above any other operation I have ever dived with, and the reason that I and others like me come back year after year - its like nothing else - anywhere else !

My condolences to the family & friends of Markus Groh , and passengers and crew on board the Shearwater.



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cleanse our hearts and souls, and lead us to Thy Celestial Kingdom to serve Thee forever and ever.
Amen

#39 MikeO

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:47 AM

I've been on Shear Water three times -- each time we had some interaction with sharks. I've been to tiger beach twice. It is unfortunate this happened and it is unfortuntate that so many seem to be jumping to conclusions. Here in Orlando today, the headline on top of the local news section is: "Inside: Shark-baiting turns deadly near Bahamas." The actual story headline is: "Man dies from shark bite after open-water dive in bloody waters". The actual story is from the AP and is fairly objective except for the seemingly ubiquitous quote at the end from Neal Watson. Shark diving has always been controversial, but I have to say that Jimmy took what could only be considered to be a very cautious approach. That being said, when you put people together with other large predatory animals, inevitable is a word that is probably appropriate. However, that applies to many other things as well. It seems that we hardly bat an eye when a person is killed by another person (remember that we, if not the largest, are certainly the most numerous and persistent predatory animals there are). Yet one single bite from a shark can generate international outrage. Face it -- despite the waivers, warnings, etc., diving with sharks is dangerous. In doing so, I made a risk decision and did it. I've made similar decisions every time I've gone mountatin biking, skiing and non-shark diving in strong currents (how many people died due to strong currents last year -- anyone? I almost had a friend die in a mountain biking incident -- does that make it something I will never do again? Hardly. I would like to think that my friendship with Jimmy doesn't cloud my judgement. I would also like to think that if it had been another operator I would still be waiting for the fact before sounding an alarm. The issue seems to be that the immediate assumption is that Jimmy somehow unduly put people at risk. All I can say is that my experience with him makes me question that assumption. I hope that all the work he has done to promote awareness of large sharks isn't damaged too much by this unfortunate accident.

Mike

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#40 bmyates

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:32 AM

A particularly articulate and cogent post, Mike(O).

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