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How many fatal shark attacks to stop you diving

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Foxfish, Feb 18, 2014.

How many fatal attacks in an area to deter you from diving

Poll closed Mar 20, 2014.
  1. 1 per year

    2 vote(s)
    0.9%
  2. 2 per year

    12 vote(s)
    5.7%
  3. 6 per year. One every second month.

    13 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. 12 per year. One every month.

    10 vote(s)
    4.7%
  5. 1 every week

    25 vote(s)
    11.8%
  6. I don't care and believe that shark finning or culling is morally wrong.

    89 vote(s)
    42.0%
  7. I find this poll disturbing and hopelessly flawed.

    61 vote(s)
    28.8%
  1. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    62,352
    30,933
    Next, he'll be spouting off about your snow bound Canadian Fortress.

    :fortress:​
     
    gcarter likes this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    62,352
    30,933
    I am reminded of an incident in Lake Denton, Florida. It had been a long time habit for dive masters and instructors to feed turtles those little canned Vienna sausages and they had become fairly aggressive. While I had never fed a turtle, I knew of their aggressive nature and cautioned my students to never ever point at a turtle. One such student was quite surprised when he lost the tip of his finger when he didn't follow my directions. His mother was livid that I would endanger her son by exposing him to aggressive wildlife. I believe she even wanted to sue me and I thought that my career as an instructor was coming to an end. Then dad showed up. He asked his son if I did tell him not to point at turtles. He admitted that I had. He then asked his son why he still pointed. He answered that he simply didn't believe me. He slapped the son on the back of his head, said something like "That's just more proof that you can't be mine" and escorted the family away. I got an apology from the son, and he finished his training when his finger healed.

    As far as I know, there have been three such incidents at Lake Denton. All involved pointing at the turtle. Turtles aren't dangerous: they are just dumb and hungry.
     
    gcarter likes this.
  3. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    118
    I presume you are drawing a parallel here with the stupidity of divers who enter waters where the risk of a fatal shark attack is excessively high. Is that the case?

    At some point the response from sensible divers changes from 'the risk of attack is minimal don't worry about it' to 'well what did you expect with that many sharks and shark attacks in the area?'. The question is, where does that point occur? How many fatal shark attacks would need to happen before you'd be deterred from entering the water? Feel free to comment on the actual topic raised in the OP when you are ready.

    And then have a look back at the questions in post #360. You may recall I responded to a post where you took issue to a claim that the rate of fatal shark attacks in our area was increasing exponentially.

    ---------- Post added March 3rd, 2014 at 02:00 AM ----------

    The purpose of the thread was get divers perceptions on the question raised in the OP. I've avoided trying to influence the thread one way or the other except an attempt to restore a degree of rationality to the discussion - with limited success.
     
  4. azza2012

    azza2012 Registered

    13
    9
    Man reading this thread makes me feel like I'm driving around a round about again and again but expecting to see something new.

    I'll give u the answer you want fox. I'll dive wa shortly when I start fifo in Perth and I'll happily do it untill there is more great whites then there are swimmers. At the point that the sharks outnumber the swimmers I'll decide it's risk is not worth the reward since their main source of food aka swimmers is running low. Upto that point I feel safe diving since sharks commonly ignore divers as proven by places like Fiji have dives with tigers bulls and hammers which are all considered man eaters and don't encounter issues.

    Now I suggest u give up and go post on surf life saving forum as u will get your desired goal since they are the sharks accidental targets.
     
    scubastingray likes this.
  5. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    7,224
    1,884
    Now wasn't it yourself who was accused of having one of those?
    Makes perfect sense given you're in Florida, but then again it was a lot about that thing which didnt :p
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    27,769
    21,462
    Referring back to my previous analogy, I am going to revise your statement with a different context:

    At some point, as the number of fatalities due to downtown Denver muggings in Colorado increases, hiking in the mountain trails in Colorado becomes stupid or mad or both. The point of the thread was to investigate the point at which the risk of walking in one community became so high the walker would be deterred from walking in a different community.

    You have never, ever shown any evidence that the risk to divers is high now or has ever been high in the past.
     
  7. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    7,713
    5,021
    Pols take notice of polls!
     
  8. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    62,352
    30,933
    You've made a lot of foolish and unwise assumptions in this thread and have just added to them. Thousands of divers learn the craft in Lake Denton. There has been no jihad led against those terrorist turtles. If you don't provoke the animal, you're not going to be molested. Pointing at turtles who have been fed Vienna sausages, which are about the size of a finger, is a provocation. Most the divers I know of that have been attacked, have provoked the attack in some manner: they've poked the pig. The fatality last year or year before in the Bahamas where they were feeding sharks: they poked the pig. The diver who kissed the Nurse shark: they poked the pig. Divers who shoot game with Mr Sharkey present: they're poking the pig too.

    Sharks are majestic, beautiful creatures who balance the ecology of the reef and oceans. Alas and alack, our ocean ecologies are way out of whack and more so as the shark population declines to dangerous levels. While you may be perfectly happy to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, there are a lot of us who prefer our oceans wild and untainted. I like the jolt of atavistic apprehension when a Bull shows up out of nowhere and challenges our presence. The arching of the back, the pointing down of the pecs and that little cat like waggle as it tries to scare us off is simply awesome. Oh my, I just poked the pig and I like it. Then the ensuing dance as I assert my dominance with a bluff by swimming straight at the shark blowing bubbles. The shark gives a bit. I give a bit. But I have to tell you, I don't get those kind of interactions near often enough. Your poll was invalid because it completely missed what motivates many of us to dive: the adventure. You're probably happy with zoos and aquariums while I am not. They have their place, but I want to experience wildlife head on while knowing enough as to when to draw the line on the interaction. To whit, I'll scuba with gators, but I won't swim with them. They won't bother me as I blow bubbles under the water, but there's a different story if I'm on the surface. People who have a phobia of sharks, simply don't know how to interact with them, don't understand the real issues provoking attacks and have blown the issue way out of hand. These are unreasonable fears that are founded in myth and foolishness and there is no way anyone can convince you otherwise. That's why they are "unreasonable". They are beyond the scope of reason.

    Why have the dialog then? Why try to help you understand that you and not the sharks are the real problem. I'm not really talking to you. I'm talking to the shark curious people out there who are working on their attitude about sharks. You'll never change but they just might. If you've noticed, I haven't gotten exasperated trying to change your world view like a few of our combatants, er posters have. They don't realize that their posts can't affect you one whit. However, they can affect everyone who finds this thread through Google. That's our real audience and you're simply the straight man. In that regard, thanks for bringing this up. Thanks for being such a good foil. Thanks for being obviously and completely unreasonable. It makes it easier for subsequent readers to pick out who's really making sense from who's simply a fraidy cat.

    In the law suit against ScubaBoard by She who shall not be named, they accused one of our users of writing his attacks from the safety of his snowbound Canadian fortress. It was like reading a post from Foxfish on sharks in regard to it's overly vivid emotions backed by not a shred of actual evidence. I need a good laugh, so I'll probably go dig that out and read it today.
     
    gee13, Wolfie_47, randy88k5 and 2 others like this.
  9. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    118
    Okay I'll get back to those comments Netdoc, but first you still haven't responded to my questions back at post #360. Most of them are yes/no answers so it won't take you long.

    ---------- Post added March 3rd, 2014 at 08:25 AM ----------

    Maybe test out your 'scuba gear is an invincibility shield' theory next time you are out on a cage dive with white pointers. You'll be the one swimming outside the cage. Be careful if you try it with the white pointers in Western Australia. No one has them about your theory.

    Then again, maybe better to just stick to your lakes John.
     
  10. PSUSCUBA1313

    PSUSCUBA1313 NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pa
    11
    13
    No, I would not jump in behind a boat of cage divers. However, this does not prove your point. This violates your original assumptions of no shark feeding occurring. The water has been chummed for the cage divers and the sharks are coming hungry and looking for food. This is not typical shark behavior. I do not want to do a cage dive, but I'd love to run into a great white in the ocean that just happened to be there and was not drawn there by the scent of food. The equation has changed completely once you start tossing large amounts of blood and food overboard for the sharks.
     

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