Death in Cocos from shark attack

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diverdoug1

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I’m glad you survived the attack diverdog1. Where in the Gulf of Mexico were you diving when attacked?

One of my favorite dives is in the Flower Gardens Marine Sanctuary. Given its 110 mile distance from shore and the fact that it is surrounded by deep blue water, it attracts large Pelagic species and sharks. We’ve been lucky so far to have never had a scary shark encounter but I think it is a high probability of occurrence at FG.
I was 17 miles west of Venice Florida, in 80' water.
 

mmmbelows

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I found this editorial on Wetpixel to be insightful and thought-provoking: Editorial: Shark bite tragedy at Cocos Islands by Adam Hanlon

Here we go again:
So this terrible event is not some kind of antagonistic attack on the part of the shark nor is it trying to feed itself, but simply shows a shark that has found something in its environment that it is curious about and is seeking to identify.

Pure conjecture and wishful thinking with no facts to back it up.

I wonder why someone would make such statements....

it is also important that we ensure that the actual facts about this tragedy, and shark behavior in general, are understood. By doing so, we can help prevent this very sad human tragedy becoming a tragedy for sharks too.

Well that clears up the motivations to make statements about sharks just being curious when someone dies.
 

mmmbelows

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@OceanEyes @Altamira

If there is a case, it will be interesting to see what the suit will be for. Also, I'm guessing she signed some form of indemnification and hold harmless clauses and released them of substantial or possibly even all liability/negligence while also acknowledging all risks of scuba diving, including injury and death, in joining the liveaboard. At least, these are all the ones I have seen and/or signed while diving with dive shops and liveaboards.

Nothing you sign gives up your rights of damages to gross negligence or reckless conduct (in the USA), this happening in Costa Rica....

If there is a lawsuit, there may be many things uncovered or brought to light that none of us are even thinking about now, it wouldn't be the first time for that to happen. There is so little information about what happened there is plenty of room for more, some of which might be good or bad.
 

The Chairman

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It is a sign of a shark that has been repeatedly fed and expects food from people and is an aggressive act.
I disagree with the first part of this. When I was diving back in the 70s sharks did this all the time and that was way before we started feeding them. However, bumping is a way of building up to biting. You should respond to any bump with a much harder bump back and go for the eyes. Use your spare reg while you're at it as sharks hate bubbles and always have.
 

drrich2

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If there is a lawsuit, there may be many things uncovered or brought to light that none of us are even thinking about now, it wouldn't be the first time for that to happen.

True, but it's hard to see how anything would be uncovered that would be contributory to a random tiger shark attack, particularly one in which a crew member then sustained what I take was probably substantial bodily injury jeopardizing his own wellbeing to protect the woman from the shark.

Richard.
 

CuzzA

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What's the range of the Shark Shield? Do you they keep sharks away completely or merely prevent them from getting too close?

About 15 feet. On multiple occasions I've had sharks attempt to come at me on the surface from below... they hit the field, abruptly turn tail and go back down.

On another occasion my buddy and I were fishing while I was watching three ten foot bulls circle us. They were really agitated when they hit the 15 foot mark. I had enough after several passes and ended the dive... naturally my buddy followed.

Anytime I run into sharks they typically bolt.
 

curamax

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First of all , My condolences to her family and friends.

Second, I have a upcoming trip to Cocos in two months , so I am really concern about the safety and what happen there.

I been diving with sharks as a recreational diver in few places like cocos, socorrors, Galapagos, Mexico, South Africa , and in my opinion the fact that the tiger shark attack 2 persons in the same event was not normal(but its only my opinion ) but I´m not expert and don´t known all the facts.

I want to known in the opinion of an expert, if it was the kind of accident that we all are expose when we dive with sharks, (and I´m ok with that risk ) or if it was something out of the normal situation with that particular shark , but nobody know all the facts and its only speculations.

Another thing , bothers me its the fact that in cocos, they have a Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Program Fee $30 , so why they did't use it ? (maybe it was to late for the girl) but what about the dive master, .

Finally , I think , we ( the divers ) deserve a clear explanation from someone responsable over there , maybe the liveaboard operators who work at cocos , or the costa rica government. don´t know

So if an expert can help with a scientific point of view or someone who knows the true facts would be great.
 

outofofficebrb

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The only way to guarantee that this would not happen would be to not dive. It's the inconvenient truth. Many of us decide the risk is worth the opportunity to dive with them.

True, but it's hard to see how anything would be uncovered that would be contributory to a random tiger shark attack
Richard.

My sentiments exactly.

Another thing , bothers me its the fact that in cocos, they have a Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Program Fee $30 , so why they did't use it ? (maybe it was to late for the girl) but what about the dive master, .
The fee may cover the cost of manning a station and helicopter available to those in need in Cocos Island while also being gov't subsidized but probably doesn't cover the actual cost if you needed it.

I sat in on a DAN seminar and they touched upon one of the worst places to have a medical emergency. Top 2 are Cocos Island and Galapagos due to their remoteness. Cocos is so far away that even a medical evacuation helicopter sent out there doesn't have the range to make the round trip. Depending on weather and surface conditions, the trip by boat alone can take 30-36 hours. Best case scenario, the liveaboard could haul towards Costa Rica mainland and the medevac helicopter could reach them once they liveaboard is within range of the helicopter making the return trip to mainland. Even in the best case scenario, and a helicopter had the ability to travel round trip to Cocos Island, I'm guessing that her wounds were so serious and dire it did not take long for her to bleed out. Unfortunately, it would have still been significant time to transport her to any medical facility.

We do not know enough about the DM other than the fact that he was in stable condition by the time they were departing Cocos. We know that they traveled towards mainland Costa Rica but don't know details whether a medical helicopter came and retrieved him or whether they traveled all the way to mainland on their own.
 

Centrals

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I am pretty sure this tragic incidence would make some divers to think twice of going to Cocos.
I have been there once many yrs ago and at that time nobody ever mentioned the word Tiger Shark. The main attraction was big school of Hammerhead and probably still is today.
What is the chance being the second victim? Only you can answer it yourself.
Cocos is quite a distance from the mainland, over 30hrs sea journey each way, and I was told by the operator then that it was out of range for helicopter for speedy evacuation.
 

drrich2

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Finally , I think , we ( the divers ) deserve a clear explanation from someone responsable over there , maybe the liveaboard operators who work at cocos , or the costa rica government. don´t know

While you wait for an expert to give input on your other points, we can talk about this one. I'd be shocked if what you claim we 'deserve' happened anytime soon, and it may never. Think about it:

1.) The government is likely tourism-sensitive & it'd require some bureaucrats collaborating and issuing a premature statement that may put them in a bind in terms of future flexibility of action, and create ill will with somebody. Don't expect a detailed specific sequence of events.

2.) For competitors (other live-aboard operations in the area) to comment on the case could easily be tacky and unprofessional, and there's an obvious potential conflict of interest.

3.) The involved live-aboard operator faces the threat of a potential lawsuit, and that is a serious threat no matter how innocent they are or ridiculous the suit, and it'll be a substantial burden in time/money/effort to fight even if they win. Anything they say now isn't reasonably expected to help them later in a suit, and it could hurt them. Wouldn't most any good lawyer advise them not to issue a detailed public statement about the event?

I am pretty sure this tragic incidence would make some divers to think twice of going to Cocos.
I have been there once many yrs ago and at that time nobody ever mentioned the word Tiger Shark.

If thinking twice means making an informed personal decision for themselves, good. Cocos seems like a popular destination with a number of live-aboards heading there, and I suspect they'll keep doing good business.

I got the impression from other posts that the tiger shark population rose over the years, leading to an alleged drop in the sea turtle population. Nowadays, people ought to be aware, or made aware!

Richard.
 
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