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Sad News in Egypt


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#1 jonny shaw

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 02:04 PM

Sad news a French diver dies from a shark bite in Egypt,

http://www.reuters.c...s/idUSL21015454

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#2 SimonSpear

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 02:54 PM

I really don't to speculate or make assumptions (although it is easy to do) so I think it is enough to say that it is terrible news and our thoughts should go out to the deceeced's family :rolleyes:

Edited by SimonSpear, 02 June 2009 - 02:57 PM.


#3 Scubamoose

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:21 PM

Sad indeed! Condolences to family and friends.
And I hope they make that reserve for sharks ASAP.

Cheers
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#4 zook

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:07 AM

Condolences to family and friends.

We were diving in the St. Johns area with white tipstwo weeks ago... They were relatively calm, but when there was movement on the surface they displayed a tad more skittishness. We were photographing them for like 60 minutes with the greatest event being one of them coming face to face for a few times. Adrenaline pumping experience, but nothing serious.

rip for the deceeced...

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#5 echeng

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:14 AM

Very sad.

Hopefully, this one will be handled by the media more responsibly than the last incident was.
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#6 loftus

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:17 AM

Yes always sad; and makes one stop and reflect for a moment.
Are there more details about the incident to learn anything from. Was this an Oceanic Whitetip? Any details about the rescue attempt. I''ve never dived there, what other sharks are found in the area?

Edited by loftus, 03 June 2009 - 04:19 AM.

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#7 Christian K

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:44 AM

Official report from CDWS:


Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) can confirm that a woman died followed an attack from a shark which occurred on the morning of Monday 1 June at St Johns Reef in the southern Red Sea.

The French woman had been on a diving safari holiday on board the boat Lanotel when the incident took place. A number of boats were moored at a reef. A group of about 20 snorkellers was observing what is thought to be an oceanic white tip shark approximately 2.5 - 3m long The woman is reported to have moved away from the group and some distance from the reef then ducked dive down towards the shark. On surfacing she was bitten on the leg and was still in contact with the shark as she was pulled onto the boat. Once on the boat, the casualty lost consciousness and died soon after.

The boat returned to the Port of Hamata, where other members of the group were interviewed by police and statements were taken.

Initial investigations revealed last week that two safari boats had been involved in feeding sharks in this area. Investigations by both the National Park and CDWS are already underway and if the allegations are found to be true, the boat operators will face severe penalties that may involve suspension from operating and heavy fines. Shark feeding is a serious violation of Red Sea rules, and an act that can severely disturb the sensitive marine eco-system and behaviour of marine animals.

#8 StephenFrink

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:38 AM

This from Elphinstone last summer:

http://stephenfrink....yum-yellow.html

Picture_2.png

The oceanic white tips definitely react to snorkelers differently than to scuba divers.

Edited by StephenFrink, 04 June 2009 - 04:56 AM.

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#9 echeng

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:55 AM

This from Daedelus last summer:

http://stephenfrink....yum-yellow.html

Picture_2.png

The oceanic white tips definitely react to snorkelers differently than to scuba divers.


WHOAH -- that is a bad idea! Bright yellow fins, snorkeling??
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#10 drako

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:15 AM

WHOAH -- that is a bad idea! Bright yellow fins, snorkeling??


Sometimes you gotta get close to the action :-p

#11 Christian K

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:21 AM

This from Daedelus last summer:

http://stephenfrink....yum-yellow.html

Picture_2.png

The oceanic white tips definitely react to snorkelers differently than to scuba divers.


I've noticed that too, and silkys as well. They also seem very sensitive to how you 'act'. I once saw a very nervous diver, trying to 'get away' from an OWT ending up being chased on top of Elphinstone, badly cut on coral.

/c

#12 GoinDown

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:22 AM

The report suggests that there may have been feeding of the sharks at the time, whether she was feeding or not is not clear. My assumptions based on observations from this area and diving with white tip reef and oceanic white tips is that the risk is probably increased if there is food in the water and the sharks instinct to feed may be stronger. My observations of white tip reef sharks is that they are shy and positively avoid divers, whereas the opposite is true for oceanics.

My observations of divers in this area show that depending on nationality, human behaviour can have an effect on the underwater environment and marine life. For example, most British warm water divers are taught to respect everything including the no-touch rule, no gloves (in the Red Sea) and no feeding. Sadly this does not appear to hold true for other nationalities who will feed the wildlife and pull at coral or disturb wildlife to create a reaction.

Whilst I have some sympathy for the deceased I can't help feeling that as a result of this, the authorities will knee jerk and ban diving at some sites (possibly) and I really hope that fishermen don't go shark hunting to remove the 'killer shark'. The authorities should impose heavy fines for boats that allow feeding and dive schools should always educate divers to respect the marine environment and not to feed the wildlife or rip it apart as I have often seen.

Hey, that was a good rant !

Edited by GoinDown, 03 June 2009 - 06:30 AM.

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#13 John Bantin

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:42 AM

It s not about shark feeding. It's about replicating the same situations that these sharks associate with feeding. Oceanic White-tips have learned to follow the great number of ships that pass up through the Red Sea in order to reach the Suez Canal. That is because crews habitually throw galley waste over the side and these sharks feed in shallow depths constantly roving the oceans for anything edible.
With the advent of bigger Red Sea liveaboards that make the right resonance as freighters together with the splash of people entering the water, it rings the dinner-bell for them. I have witnessed many divers unknowingly investigated by such sharks in that first moment of crashing into the sea.Only two weeks ago I was in St.Johns with five sharks under our vessel. Some of the passengers chose to snorkel with them. Not me. One passenger got some very exciting close-ups while doing this. I prefer to quietly scuba. (I'm in Bali this week and all the sharks here have been eaten.)

Edited by John Bantin, 03 June 2009 - 06:43 AM.

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#14 loftus

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:12 AM

Looking ahead rather than retrospectively; it would be great if some of the knowledge of some of the experienced shark expeditions (feeding or not) could permeate through to the level of teaching and instruction of all divers.
The reality is that one should assume there are sharks in the water every time one dives or snorkels. With this in mind all divers and snorkelers should be taught what to do and what not to do when entering the water, particularly in areas known to be populated by sharks, and especially. in areas where a particular species such as the OWT is known to be present.
Maybe in the Red Sea all divers and snorkelers should be cautioned about yellow fins, all divers and snorkelers should be cautioned to look around all the time, and all divers and snorkelers should be cautioned about activity at the surface which will attract OWT sharks.
The specifics of this accident are not clear or known, just hope something good can come out of it, like better education.
I really hope that some of the knowledge guys like Jim Abernathy have, can one day get through to the teaching courses at organizations like NAUI, PADI, etc.
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#15 Drew

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:30 AM

That's very unfortunate news. Feeding/chumming sharks and then letting people snorkel with them just amplifies the problems, especially with holiday makers having all sorts of bright colored gear. I do hope those operations are shut down for their own sakes!


(I'm in Bali this week and all the sharks here have been eaten.)


Only cause we don't want you to find out where the sharks are hiding. :)

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#16 stewsmith

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

Another sad day for diving and another sad day for sharks. Personally I do not think that the Egyptians will have a knee jerk reaction to this incident. I think that they will carry out thorough investigations regarding dive/snorkelling boats feeding sharks. I have heard stories over the years of boats feeding them, but i have never witnessed this. I was diving with OWT last october out at the Brothers and also at Elphinstone and my wife and I noticed that the behaviour of the sharks at the 2 different locations were very different. The ones at the Brothers would keep their distance unless there were 5 or 6 of them together then they would be " in your face ". The OWT at elphinstone though were very different and one of the guys I took out into the blue was harrassed for a few minutes by one particular OWT. This shark was easily recognisable as he was the only shark that did not have any pilot fish with him/her. He would dive deep and come up at you from below and unless you were keeing an eye out for each other, a situation could have happened.

Good to see the Mail covered this story today with a photo of a great white with its jaws wide open.

My thoughts are with the family, friends and the other divers that had to witness this sad event.

Stew

Edited by stewsmith, 03 June 2009 - 12:50 PM.

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#17 Timmoranuk

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:45 AM

Just in from HEPCA...

"HEPCA, and all its members from the Egyptian Red Sea would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the French snorkeler killed by an Oceanic-White-Tip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) at the Saint Johnís reefs this week. Contrary to rumour this was the only incident of recent shark fatality or injury to tourists in the Egyptian Red Sea. Further, HEPCA has not attributed blame of the fatality to the behaviour of the snorkeler who was killed. However HEPCA advises strongly that snorkelling in waters where this species is frequently encountered, such as the Far Islands and Saint Johns, is highly unadvisable.

Oceanic-White-Tip Sharks are large (maximum size 390 cm) predators rarely encountered because their main habitat is deep water well away from land. However, at certain times of the year this species aggregate at isolated islands, rocks and pinnacles in deep water in the Egyptian Red Sea. It is still unclear why they do this. Some scientists have suggested that they move seasonally close to islands for reproduction or feeding. Alternatively, because of their inquisitive nature, they might simply be attracted to boats and divers. Interactions between this species and SCUBA divers at some offshore dive sites in Egyptian waters are common at certain times of the year. Indeed, large numbers of divers travel to Egypt each year for the privilege of viewing this large species of shark. Although potentially dangerous, like most large wild animals, many thousands of divers have been safely introduced to this species without incident of injury. However certain activities can increase the risk of negative interactions with this and other species of shark. Foremost is the activity of divers feeding sharks with scrapes of food in order to attract them closer. Although shark feeding is legal in some well known dive destinations, such as the Caribbean, it is strictly forbidden under law in Egypt because of the very reason tragically witnessed this week.

The recent shark fatality is a great tragedy for all concerned and HEPCA wants to reassure visitors that every measure will be taken to reduce the risk of a similar incident occurring again. HEPCA, in conjunction with local industry,CDWS and government officials, are now formulating a strategy to help limit the risk of such an incident occurring again. In particular dive companies involved in the illegal activity of shark feeding will have their licences revoked. Although the risk of shark fatalities cannot be entirely stopped, the following activities will greatly minimise it:

- No swimming and snorkelling in waters where this and other large species of sharks are known to frequent
- No deliberate feeding of this species or the dumping of waste from boats which may attract this and other potentially dangerous sharks (both activities are illegal in Egyptian waters)
- No SCUBA diving without an experienced dive guide in waters where this species is known to frequent
- In areas such as the Far Islands, where this species is frequently observed, it is advisable that divers enter (and are retrieved from) the water as close as possible to the reef.
- In areas such as the Far Islands, where this species is frequently observed, it is illegal to be involved in any night diving activities.


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#18 SimonSpear

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:20 PM

I didn't want to comment too much before the facts started to appear but sadly there are a lot of people who could see this coming. Speaking in a strictly personal capacity and unlike some I'm not against using bait to attract sharks, but there is a time a place and a method for doing it to minimise the risks involved, particularly with large sharks. People getting into the water also need to be aware of the risks and prepared. I don't think any of that applies to what has been happening in the southern red sea for a number of years. I've heard first hand accounts of attacks from down there and I've seen some of the injuries caused which in all cases that I've heard about have been to snorkelers. These have been largely unreported. A terrible incident for both the victim and their family :)

#19 DeanB

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 01:02 PM

I was snorkelling off the back of a liveaboard looking for Oceanics last Dec ... When one finally loomed into view i left the water quicker than an exocet missile... Much to the laughter of the crew... But that was one big bugger... I just didnt feel comfortable flapping about in just shorts with all my luminous white skin exposed :) ... Especially after we were told of an unfortunate lady loosing an arm to one a few weeks before...

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#20 jonny shaw

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 02:39 PM

Especially after we were told of an unfortunate lady loosing an arm to one a few weeks before.

DeanB


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