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Diving Suspended in Sharm El Sheikh due to shark Attack

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my hepca email has been returned as their inbox is full. I will keep posting until it gets delivered though.

 

Stew

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my hepca email has been returned as their inbox is full. I will keep posting until it gets delivered though.

 

Stew

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — A shark tore the arm off an elderly German tourist at an Egyptian Red Sea resort, killing her almost immediately, security and diving officials said Sunday, only days after sharks badly mauled four other European tourists in the waters.

The German was swimming in the waters off Sharm el-Sheikh, a famed diving and vacation resort in the Sinai peninsula, when the shark attacked, Egyptian security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to brief the media.

 

"It was definitely a shark attack," said Hesham Gabar, the head of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Water Sports. The German Embassy in Cairo could not be immediately reached for comment.

 

Sunday's deadly attack comes after oceanic white tip sharks mauled three Russians and a Ukrainian tourist last week, also off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh. In one of those attacks, a shark bit off an elderly woman's hand and tore off another woman's leg.

 

Egyptian authorities closed Sharm el-Sheikh's beaches following those attacks, and on Thursday the Environment Ministry said two sharks suspected of mauling the four tourists were caught.

 

Authorities then reopened Sharm el-Sheikh's beaches Saturday after divers from the Chamber of Diving and Water Sports and the Environment Ministry scoured popular diving sites in an effort to ensure they were safe.

 

The Environment Ministry also ordered authorities to beef up security measures at beaches in the area. requiring diving centers to provide staff to supervise beaches and watch the waters for sharks.

 

Environmentalists warned that the string of recent attacks is likely a result of the Red Sea's declining ecosystem. Gabar, the head of the CDWS, said he's seen a jump in the number of sharks off Egypt's Red Sea coast, which he said could be caused by overfishing.

 

The spate of shark attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh — one of Egypt's main beach resorts that attracts millions of foreign vacationers annually — could deal a blow the country's tourism industry, a vital source of income.

 

Beach tourism is believed to contribute some 66% of Egypt's total income from tourism which is expected to reach $12.3 billion by end of the current fiscal year ending 2011, Tourism Minister Zohair Garanah was quoted as saying in state-owned Al-Gomhoriya daily.

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Firstly, this behaviour by Oceanic Whitetips is absolutely atypical insofar as the 'where' and 'what'. Presently, the missing piece of the puzzle seems to be the 'why'.

 

Secondly, the knee jerk cull of the two OWT and Mako which followed the first incedents must not be allowed to continue.

 

Thirdly and on a personal basis, if further a cull is insigated official or otherwise, my son (CJ) or I will will be forced reconsider if we are ever dive in or give patronage to the Egyptian Rea Sea again. Since CJ started his diving at the age of seven (he is now thirteen) we have accumulated over 40 weeks diving in the Egyptian Red Sea. If a cull were to occur I would take the view that the diving would be the lesser and the Egyptian Authorities are not committed to marine conservation. In which case, we would have to reconsider our support to the diving infrastructure in the Egyptian Red Sea.

 

Let's be realistic here.Having divers swim the area to "clear" the beach for shark is absolutely useless. A shark can easily travel around and come back in a few days. Humans want to feel safe, especially on holiday at the beach. With the amount of money poured in on the infrastructure and tourism $$$ coming in, the authorities have to make it look like the threat is over and something is being done. Heads roll when things can't be controlled. So culling a few sharks vs millions of $$$ and job security? Guess who loses every time?

 

Re the dead carcass dumping.

Eid happens every year so that dumping has got to happen annually. So what makes this year different? Quantity dumped etc?

 

Last year the spate of incidents happened further south:

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showt...=30702&st=0

 

Another incident in April @ Na'ama Bay:

 

http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/blackpoo...hark.6233932.jp

 

The problem with reports is the lack of accuracy. Was there chumming(either intentional or waste disposal) near by? We know the incident @ st John was acerbated by chumming while there were snorkelers and swimmers in the water. Do a search on youtube and you'll see encounters with Longimanus, nothing serious but their investigatory bumps can cause minor injuries to skin.

 

With the conflicting reports, it may not be one shark doing all the incidents.

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the authorities have to make it look like the threat is over and something is being done. Heads roll when things can't be controlled. So culling a few sharks vs millions of $$$ and job security? Guess who loses every time?

 

Yeah, not smart long term.

 

Emails sent.

 

"To whom it may concern.

Please dont go overboard and kill every shark you see following the attacks recently.

Less than 10 humans are fatally bitten by sharks each year.

This is a very low figure considering the fact that we are overfishing the oceans and removing their natural food sources.

I hope cooler heads prevail and the bigger picture is looked at.

ie how valuable one shark is to an area that supports diving related activities.

An "expert" in South Africa estimated that each shark at Aliwal Shoal was worth approximately $1 million per year to the area in tourist dollars.

Remember, we are in their territory.

So we must be ultimately responsible.

cheers"

 

I kept it short and basic so the message can reach more people.

How it helps.

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"Many thanks for your email.

I can assure you that the CDWS does not condone the killing of any sharks.

CDWS is working closely with the Egyptian Authorities and has sought the advice and expertise of a number of professionals on shark behaviour for this very reason. Dr Burgess of the Florida Program for Shark Research will be the first to arrive in Sharm this evening.

If you want accurate information on what is going on, please keep an eye on our website www.cdws.travel which are updating regularly with news.

Kind regards,

Mary"

 

Mary replied in under an hour.

:)

Edited by scubaseven

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A statement by the Longimanus Project - http://www.longimanus.info/rss_upload/Long.../longinews.html

 

I just heard that Dr Elke Bojanowski is on her way from Hurghada to Sharm and that CDWS are assembling a team of experts - http://www.cdws.travel/chamber-news.aspx?id=46

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Going back on topic, the CDWS isn't going to condone random shark kills publicly but the MOT, on the other hand, have to answer Cairo on measures to stop this. That's why they had these hunts.

The other problem is their recommendation to reopen the water activities around Sharm, declaring the area "safe," only to have a 4th incident happen almost immediately, didn't help. So it's the natural progression of things to have a team of expert consultants come in, again for the appearance of doing something.

With the xmas holidays coming up, there'll be lots of pressure from business and government to clear this up quickly.

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The latest

 

CDWS shark incident update: diving possible tomorrow in Sharm el Sheikh

 

6 December 14:00

 

The majority of areas in Sharm el Sheikh will be open to diving activities for CDWS members and their clients tomorrow (7 December), however, please note a series of restrictions apply on where these can take place and on client experience. All snorkel activities and other watersports - with the exception of glass bottom boat operations - remain suspended in the whole of the Sharm el Sheikh coastal area.

 

Qualified diving clients, who must have a minimum of 50 logged dives, are permitted to participate in scuba activities run by CDWS members in the areas of Tiran and all sites south of Naama Bay. Diving remains completely banned at this time in the area between Ras Nasrani to the north of Naama Bay where the Ras Mohammed National Park teams are currently working.

 

Under NO circumstances are introductory or training dives permitted to take place in the sea anywhere in Sharm el Sheikh until CDWS members are notified otherwise.

 

Following discussions with sharks experts and a series of exploratory dives, it was decided that the areas to be opened, which include the Ras Mohammed National Park and popular sites such as the Thistlegorm, were safe for experienced diving activities. CDWS would like to make it clear that no divers have been involved in any of the incidents reported.

 

CDWS is working with four world-renowned shark experts at this time. Three of the experts will be arriving over the next two days in Sharm el Sheikh to form an advisory team to try to assess and advise on the best course of action following the four shark attacks in areas north of Naama Bay this week.

 

Dr George H Burgess, the director of the Florida Program and curator of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History for Shark Research, is flying to the resort today. Arriving tomorrow are: Dr Marie Levine, head of the Shark Research Institute in Princeton, USA, and Dr Ralph Collier, of the Shark Research Committee and author of Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century. Shark behavioural expert Dr Erich Ritter is assisting from his research centre based in the USA. The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is funding all the costs involved.

 

A Swedish research vessel is currently surveying the topography of the ocean around Sharm el Sheikh in order to supply data to shark experts to assist their work. CDWS enlisted the help of this vessel to carry out the topography survey and secured all the relevant permissions.

 

CDWS would like to assure all members that the organisation is working continuously with all the relevant authorities and shark experts to try to resolve this situation in the most appropriate and safe way for all concerned. The CDWS also stresses to all members and the public that it does not in any way condone the random killing of sharks.

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ITV news (uk) goes with the headline 'Killer Shark' and likens it all to 'Jaws'.

 

Now, im sorry for the lady that has lost her life, but why must the media go with such headlines? They even spoke with Ali Moore of SharkTrust who tried to give true facts, but the interviewer didnt really want to hear about shark behaviour but concentrate on 'man-eaters'. Again the fact that there had been killing of innocent sharks, even sharks of the wrong species, was played down. The egyptian on there obviously had no idea what he was talking about. Might as well have interviewed a 5yr and asked how big bad and scary these man eater sharks are.

 

Olly

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Tell me its not April 1st...

 

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/...-behind-sh.aspx

 

There's more:

 

http://blogs.news.sky.com/middleeastblog/P...ee-c72a5845f2a8

Edited by Timmoranuk

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You'd be very surprised how many conspiracy theories come about when things happen in a "hot" zone. It's always someone, if not human then it's aliens or little gremlins. Seems to be a coping mechanism to handle the seemingly unfathomable, at least for those who buy into it. Trained mutant piranhas up next... in 3D... oh wait that's been done!

 

The good news is that diving is going to reopen, although I fail to see how the number of dives is a factor in jumping into the sea when it's the operators who should be controlling the group and whether to get out or not depending on the danger.

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You'd be very surprised how many conspiracy theories come about when things happen in a "hot" zone. It's always someone, if not human then it's aliens or little gremlins. Seems to be a coping mechanism to handle the seemingly unfathomable, at least for those who buy into it. Trained mutant piranhas up next... in 3D... oh wait that's been done!

 

The good news is that diving is going to reopen, although I fail to see how the number of dives is a factor in jumping into the sea when it's the operators who should be controlling the group and whether to get out or not depending on the danger.

The shark will ask to see your logbook first......

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The good news is that diving is going to reopen, although I fail to see how the number of dives is a factor in jumping into the sea when it's the operators who should be controlling the group and whether to get out or not depending on the danger.

The 50+ rule is used in the Red Sea for dive sites that are deemed potentially challenging for less experienced divers - and which includes the ones that have been sanctioned by the latest CDWS bulletin.

 

 

 

The shark will ask to see your logbook first......

:)

 

 

R

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The good news is that diving is going to reopen, although I fail to see how the number of dives is a factor in jumping into the sea when it's the operators who should be controlling the group and whether to get out or not depending on the danger.

 

I 'believe' some of it also comes down to how divers 'might' react underwater. A diver with a few logged dives might be more inclined to react calmly upon seeing a shark. The average newbee may well make a splash about it (pun intended) and any resulting thrashing could incite said shark.

That's only my opinion, and has about as much scientific basis behind it as the Mossad claims:)

 

Either way, the shark has to get through my camera before it gets to me:D

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I 'believe' some of it also comes down to how divers 'might' react underwater. A diver with a few logged dives might be more inclined to react calmly upon seeing a shark. The average newbee may well make a splash about it (pun intended) and any resulting thrashing could incite said shark.

That's only my opinion, and has about as much scientific basis behind it as the Mossad claims:)

 

Either way, the shark has to get through my camera before it gets to me:D

 

 

The reason for the regulation is that inexperienced divers are much more likely to spend time on the surface, increasing the risk if you have oceanic sharks in the vicinity.

Edited by Christian K

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Either way, the shark has to get through my camera before it gets to me:D

You can only block whatever is coming at you if you can see it in your limited FOV through your mask. The rest of the time, the shark is looking at you from behind... unless you are a Jedi, kungfu master or Mossad trained of course. :)

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Here's an intelligent resume of the situation by James Lea. The media would do well to talk to him...

 

http://saveourseas.com/blog/red_sea_shark_..._in_perspective

Indeed. Well found and thanks for posting.

 

Just had a haircut and the barber showed me a picture of the German victim, not nice. Lets hope these sensational and morbid pictures don't start doing the rounds.......

 

Duncan

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Duncan, let's be fair to say that not many people have been through such a situation and it's inevitable that a government official, pressed to give an answer and also economic pressure to reopen beaches, will make a few goofs. It's not as if the press have NEVER misquoted, take something out of context or plain fabricated statements before. Many of them still have not corrected that only 3 tourists were injured by the shark and the 4th was injured by coral. This includes Fox News, LA Times and NY Times. The newswire isn't always reliable journalism.

As for why the shark bit,.it's also pretty much just going to be accepted theory as to what happened vs someone coming up with irrefutable facts. If the media wanted sane and measured comments, it would be a first time in modern sensationalistic journalism. :)

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Duncan, let's be fair to say that not many people have been through such a situation and it's inevitable that a government official, pressed to give an answer and also economic pressure to reopen beaches, will make a few goofs. It's not as if the press have NEVER misquoted, take something out of context or plain fabricated statements before. Many of them still have not corrected that only 3 tourists were injured by the shark and the 4th was injured by coral. This includes Fox News, LA Times and NY Times. The newswire isn't always reliable journalism.

As for why the shark bit,.it's also pretty much just going to be accepted theory as to what happened vs someone coming up with irrefutable facts. If the media wanted sane and measured comments, it would be a first time in modern sensationalistic journalism. :)

Drew, whilst I agree with what you say about the media, if you work within a tourist industry you should have some idea of what to say and what not to say to the media.....

 

Comments like 'it was israel sending gps controlled sharks' for example......

 

Also:

 

" In a strange turn of events, the Egyptian tourism minister announced less than 24 hours after a German woman was killed by a shark off the Sharm el-Sheikh coast that shallow waters are 100 percent safe.

 

Minister Zuhair Garrana said that diving was being allowed as “we are advised that sharks will not attack divers.”

 

He added that “I cannot say that deep waters are completely secure but shallow waters are 100 percent secure.”

 

So the current situation is that ALL beaches are closed, swimming and snorkling banned, diving allowed in Tiran, Ras Mo and south of Naama bay. Shore diving banned. Divers must have 50 logged dives and no teaching.

 

BUT Shallow water is 100% safe..........

 

Also consider the topography of the area. Mainly fringing reef plates with drop off's into deep water, with the exception or a couple of bays. ie mostly deep water.

 

 

What about a swedish boat that is surveying the areas topography and supplying data.....or was that boat already here to plot the route for a telecomunications cable.......

 

 

Sharm cannot afford any more incidents, let the experts do their job and take the time to assess the situation.

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Drew, whilst I agree with what you say about the media, if you work within a tourist industry you should have some idea of what to say and what not to say to the media.....

 

LOL I think politician's gaffes is like cosmic rays, lots and lots of it going around and everywhere. I can think of Presidents, PMs etc etc who have said things they probably would've choked themselves on. I'm not excusing them, but it's sorta par for the course really. Garrana probably read a brief and regurgitated badly. Plus he's underpressure to make sure the x'mas holiday crowd doesn't cancel because of the incidents.

After the first day where 3 people were bitten, most people assumed it was one shark. I can't remember any where outside of Jaws where you had multiple days of repetitive bites by sharks in the same area. So they closed the beach for a couple of days, killed a few sharks and reopened the beaches.

Then the german lady was killed, which then became a new precedent.

If I remember my visits to Egypt over the years, chatting with the older guys, conspiracy theories are kinda normal in some circles and especially ones concerning the Israelis. Just like the theories about Obama being a muslim or not a US citizen. No one culture, country or race is safe from stupidity and ignorance, at any level of demographics.

So with that mindset, Shousha probably said it's not impossible (he is a politician after all, so why piss off his constituents?) but needs confirming (his way out!). Typical media frenzy picks up on the Mossad part and want to make a bigger deal out of it than it was.

I sincerely hope no one else gets injured by a shark either. However, I'm not sure what the experts can do to make sure the beaches are 100% safe. Haven't they tried in so many places in the world and still there are random shark incidents? Only way is to kill off the sharks, and that won't happen (I HOPE!). I'm sure the shark diving brings in quite a bit of business as well.

I'm already reading headlines about many cancellations over the year end holidays for Egypt in Germany. The Egyptians are being pushed to declare the beaches open for economic reasons. The $50k compensation and experts coming in are all part of the PR stunt to move things along that direction. Shark incidents, however rarem are inevitable as history has shown. Obviously the victims won't share such an attitude but I'm pretty sure all victims of accidents would respond that way.

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It seems to me that if you take all the snorkellers on the coast at Sharm and take them well offshore to snorkel everyday, a number will get bitten by oceanic white tips.

Conversely, if instead you bring the OWT sharks in to shore by baiting with discarded sheep carcasses, you could probably achieve the same outcome.

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It seems to me that if you take all the snorkellers on the coast at Sharm and take them well offshore to snorkel everyday, a number will get bitten by oceanic white tips.

Conversely, if instead you bring the OWT sharks in to shore by baiting with discarded sheep carcasses, you could probably achieve the same outcome.

 

Hi Pete,

 

On the face of it your conclusion would appear have a great deal of merit however...

 

Commercial snorkelling operations out of Sharm do frequent the offshore reefs at Tiran where Longimanus are habitually present. Parties of perhaps 20 or 30 holiday makers resplendent in day-glo buoyancy aids and fluorescent yum-yum fins are herded around in packs close to the south reef edges (in water considerably deeper than the inshore bays where the four recent incidents occured), splashing their white arms and legs and swimming erratically... I assume that the recent restrictions on snorkelling will have applied to these offshore sites as well as the bays around Sharm, though I havn't seen this specified in statements from CDWS.

 

The conundrum to me is why there have not been any Longimanus attacks at these 'target rich' offshore reefs, either historically or, more relevently, in recent weeks when presumably the presence of the dumped carassess has been a catalyst for their aggressive behaviour. Perhaps the absence of historic attacks at the offshore locations lends weight to the conclusion that a specific event has been the catalyst for this apparent behavioural change.

 

It is of course all conjecture and easy to hypothesise and ask questions to which there are no absolute answers and, I suspect, little more will come from the experts presently working with the Ministry of Tourism other than injecting some practical common sense into the circumstances, inshallah!

 

The punch-line to the bad taste joke - one Longimanus to the other Longimanus "What's the difference between a dead sheep and a snorkellor" may be the key to understanding this...

Edited by Timmoranuk

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