Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Danger seeker!

So, say you wanted to see some sharks. You'd hop in your car and drive to the nearest aquarium, right? Okay, but suppose you wanted a more thrilling experience? Well, you could maybe hook up with some folks who had a shark cage or one of those funky mesh shark suits. Or you could answer an ad that read like this:
The company's Web site says it offers the opportunity to get "face to face" with sharks. The site explains that its hammerhead and tiger shark expeditions in the Bahamas are "unique shark trips ... run exclusively for shark enthusiasts and photographers."

To ensure "the best results we will be 'chumming' the water with fish and fish parts," the Web site explains. "Consequently, there will be food in the water at the same time as the divers. Please be aware that these are not 'cage' dives, they are open water experiences."
Let me get this straight: They toss a bunch of fish heads and guts into the water to assure the presence of riled-up hammerheads and tiger sharks while you, the idiot paying guest, are in the water with them, protected by naught but your swimsuit? I am a little offended that the Coast Guard actually responded to this call; after all, those were my tax dollars in the cutter's gas tank. "Uh, roger Shear Water. We read you. You say you have one wounded aboard who was bitten by a shark while doing what, again?"


phlegmfatale said...

My favorite part of the article?

"It was unclear what type of shark was involved in the attack."

Um, they left out "allegedly."

Tam said...

They didn't want to encourage folks to engage in any shark profiling.

Tam said...

PS: This is where someone's supposed to type "Well, if it had been a white shark, they would have said so." :p

Anonymous said...

Danger seeker/fu**tard. Danger seeker/fu**tard. Danger seeker/Fu**tard.

Nope, sorry, gonna have to go with Fu**tard on this one.

BryanP said...

Oh yeah. I want to jump in chummed water with a bunch of hammerheads, one of the most aggressive shark breeds out there. Yeesh.

Darwin material indeed.


Mark said...

There are times when you just know you shouldn't be laughing, and yet the sheer idiot lunacy of the thing makes the giggles come right out...

Anonymous said...

Man, I would have LOVED to be the AST in the helo that responded to that mayday.

"Sir, you know I'll jump into hurricane waters, and you know I'll pull people out shit infested waters outside of New Orleans, but there is no fucking way I'm going in the water to get that idiot. There are pissed off sharks in there. Sir."

Anonymous said...

I thought sharks wouldn't eat lawyers out of professional courtesy???

Anonymous said...

Peter's blog (Feb 21) had a piece about how, in SouthAfrica, they have a guy who charms sharks.


Ya don't suppose the South African guy was just playing copy cat.

Anonymous said...

Only the dumb ones, it's a eugenic thing.

staghounds said...

I've done this by accident, and there's not enough money to get me to do it on purpose.

He could have just driven his BMW to a bad neighborhood, it would have cost less and the EMTs would have been closer.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I know a guy who does something very much like this. He's a semi-pro photographer (he makes a little money, but not enough to live on, from photos) and takes his shark photo trips around the Great Barrier Reef.

So far, he hasn't been bitten. (So far...) His pictures are amazing, FWIW. He also does pretty much every other kind of dangerous behavior you can think of (helicopters, fast bikes, marrying women 1/2 his age, etc...) He has great stories and a bunch of great scars; maybe he is looking for a shark scar to add to his collection.

phlegmfatale said...

On the up side, it's reassuring to learn that the insane European adventure tourists are not monolithically doughy, cave-fish-coloured males looking for little boys in Bangkok.

BobG said...

Interesting idea. I think I'll open a business in Alaska for treehugger photographers. They can pour blueberry syrup on themselves and photograph grizzly bears up close.

Anonymous said...

All of the comments being posted show the true ignorance people have developed as a result years of poor media coverage following on the coat tails movies like JAWS. Sharks are not out there to eat people. As humans, we do many MANY things to push envelopes, get a thrill, seek adventure and those thrill seekers accept the risks that come from tying rubber bands to their legs and jumping off bridges, or throwing fish guts in the water and jumping in with sharks.
it's curious that a shark bite gets so much press coverage while there are bear and mountain lion attacks carried out on visitors of their habitats on a yearly basis.
Oh yeah, and get out more people.
Your perfectly safe lives leave you sounding boring, dull, and trivial beyond compare.

Tam said...

"Anne Ony Mouse",

I wouldn't call the Coast Guard to rescue me if I screwed up getting a knee down at 90mph. Just because I'm out in the woods with the bears doesn't mean I scatter ground beef in the clearing and stand in the midst of it, hoping for a good photo. At least not without carrying a good bang stick.

Hey, stick your head in whatever fanged orifice you want for thrills; just don't get all whiny when I laugh if it gets bitten off.

Anonymous said...

They wanted an "open water experience".

They got what they paid for.

My only objection is that the boat's skipper didn't have to pre-pay with a creditcard number for the coastguard call.

Zendo Deb said...

First, these folks are idiots I agree. I have seen tiger sharks from the boat, that is close enough. (And why I like to stay in the boat.)

But all this "why did the Coasties ride to the rescue?" is a bit troublesome.

Are you going to cancel emergency services for anyone you feel is taking risks? Skiing, say or riding motorcycles?

If you let government (and the Left) in that door, we are in trouble.

"Oh, he was injured at the shooting range? Serves him right for playing with those evil nasty guns. 911 should have left him to die."

Actually you can look forward to this when government is paying for health care. They won't cover anything they don't approve of.

Matt G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt G said...

Around here, when you have a BAD traumatic injury, the fire department and EMS will strap your butt into a gurney, and call for CareFlight to come pick you up. While the EMTs and parameds are working on you, a junior firefighter with a clipboard begins asking you personal contact info questions, insurance questions, and where your insurance card can be found.

Oh yes, you will be billed for the medical service.

Seems that we could have the Coast Guard do that. 'Round here, they figure that the average helo transport costs about $26k. What do you reckon? Double? --for open water pickup?

Anonymous said...

I rather like the idea of a 911 subscription.

X number of dollars pre-paid, X times 100 dollars if post paid.

Charities can buy them for the indigent.

Little old ladies( of either sex ) who call 911 to complain about their neighbor's noise might have trouble buying cat food.

Words Twice said...

I knew a guy who did this kind of thing in Fort Lauderdale. He offered to take me on one of his shark dives free of charge (his son and I are good friends), which I politely refused. The ocean is plenty dangerous enough without screwing around like that.

Although, I wouldn’t want the Safety Nazis to make this illegal. Sharks need entertainment, too.

Anonymous said...

I've been diving with sharks off Johnston Atoll. Mostly gray reef sharks (aggressive) and the occasional white tip (non-aggressive). The few tigers in the area stayed outside of the reef for the most part, although they would occasionally cruise through the channel to check things out.

Chumming to attract the sharks isn't as stupid as it sounds. We're all conditioned by seeing induced feeding frenzies on TV to expecting sharks to act like enraged eating machines at the slightest presence of blood in the water, but think about it for a moment. If that were true, then every time a shark made a kill, there would be a feeding frenzy.

How long would the shark population last if that were the case? Chumming the water attracts the sharks and that's it.

As my scuba instructor told us before our first open water dive, "If you don't want to get bitten by a shark, don't act like food."

We actually had a shark come check us out during that first open water session. We were all kneeling on the bottom, about 20 feet down, practicing clearing our face masks, buddy breathing, and the like, when a 7 foot gray came by to check out what we going on. We kept an eye on him and he kept an eye on us until he lost interest and swam off.

A bit exciting for a training dive, but I'd already encountered a similarly sized shark while snorkling, so I wasn't too worried.

What they were doing involved a small amount of risk, but it wasn't as suicidally stupid as you might think.