German diver attacked by shark - Isla del Coco, Costa Rica

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drrich2

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Can someone describe the typical diving group practice off Cocos Island live-aboards? How many guides/how many divers, and whether & to what extent the group is told to stick together, how close, etc...?

There are live-aboards elsewhere where buddy pairs are welcome to head off on their on and not follow a guide. There are dive environments/operations where group cohesion is expected. I'm trying to get a sense of what the Cocos dive culture is like.

Richard.
 

peeweediver

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My experience from 2016: We were very much kept together as a group. We would decend, find a good spot in the rocks to get comfortable and then watch to see if the cleaning station was active. The DM would check on each of us to make sure we were comfortable and ok, then he would find his spot behind us. If their were sharks, we stayed, if not, we moved on to find a more active spot. When it was time to ascend, we'd go as a group out into blue water, get to the safety stop for 3-5 minutes and then surface and board the panga. We were always together except when two of our group were taken off by the current. Long story with good ending. My understanding of the incident last November is that it happened either during or just after the safety stop. I'm not exactly sure when in the dive this latest incident occurred. The somewhat spooky thing was when a Tiger came through, the hammerheads sort of disappeared.
Dan_T, from what we have heard, some changes to procedure have been made since we went due to the November incident.

Rob
 

rongoodman

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The Okeanos II has two pangas, with a driver, one DM, and ten or so divers per panga. Divers can either follow the guides or split off into smaller groups. The only place they made a big deal about sticking together was at Manuelita, where the tiger sharks tend to hang out.
 

scubadada

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I have been in touch with Aggressor, night dives are discontinued for now, Manuelita is open for diving, including backside. Sad to miss the Whitetip swarm, otherwise the same. Three night dives was too many, more day dives would be welcome
 

rongoodman

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After talking to the crew on the Okeanos II last week, the pattern appears to be some combination of an aggressive shark and the divers involved not staying with the group as advised on multiple occasions by the dive masters.
 
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CuzzA

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After talking to the crew on the Okeanos II last week, the pattern appears to be some combination of an aggressive shark and the divers involved not staying with the group as advised on multiple occasions by the dive masters.
So it sounds like it's the same shark. Was the female victim away from the group? I thought a DM/guide was trying to fend off the tiger.
 

scubadada

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So it sounds like it's the same shark. Was the female victim away from the group? I thought a DM/guide was trying to fend off the tiger.
It would be really great to have details about both of the incidents, I'm not optimistic that we ever will.
 

HalcyonDaze

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After talking to the crew on the Okeanos II last week, the pattern appears to be some combination of an aggressive shark and the divers involved not staying with the group as advised on multiple occasions by the dive masters.

That's roughly accurate according to my discussions with several people who had knowledge of the November incident. Given that the deceased's fiancee was making noise about a lawsuit and two of the people I talked to were involved in an investigatory capacity, I am not going to relay details here. From doing a deep dive on Google it looks like there hasn't really been any news coverage of it since the immediate aftermath.

So it sounds like it's the same shark. Was the female victim away from the group? I thought a DM/guide was trying to fend off the tiger.

"Aggressive shark" could also mean any shark behaving in that fashion. As stated earlier, a friend of mine filming at Cocos noted that if he broke off from the group a tiger would turn up; in one of these instances he actually returned to the boat, ditched his tank and BC, and tried acting like a wounded turtle at the surface to get the tiger to approach. The tiger in question did not take the bait.

From all accounts I heard regarding the November attack the DM was with her but they were separated from the main group.
 
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