“There are old divers and there are stupid divers. But no stupid old divers.”
Scuba used to be dangerous. Okay, scuba is still dangerous, but after decades of refinement and evolution of training techniques as well as much better equipment, it has become a much safer pastime than many people may think. One of the main reasons why scuba is so safe are the attitudes of the divers themselves. Almost everyone who dives makes safety their first priority. Another axiom among divers is the idea of following the rules stringently. Adhering to the rules keeps you alive. For that reason, most scuba divers have earned a positive reputation with the public at large. Divers are looked at as confident, upstanding individuals with moral character and a positive outlook on life. We are vibrant leaders of the community. And then there are these knuckleheads who ruin it for the rest of us. I call this, Diver’s Behaving Badly
Diver Operators Busted for Feeding Sharks By Hand
It wasn’t your routine undercover assignment. Florida game officials and deputies donned wetsuits and BCs and pretended to be tourists in order to catch a crime in progress. Not drug smugglers or human slave traffickers, but another type of crime. A crime against public safety. Police began investigating after receiving several complaints that dive charter operators were chumming for sharks off Palm Beach County. One diver had to get out of the water because the sharks were becoming too aggressive. The practice of baiting sharks so they will come up to divers is absurdly unsafe. It may seem like a small thing, a waste of police resources, but just think about the public outcry if the police did nothing and a tourist was bitten (or killed) by a shark.
Terrifying Scuba Attack Caught On Camera
Rene Umberger was minding her own business on another leisurely dive off the coast of Hawaii when she got the surprise of her life. And almost of her death. While documenting damage to the coral reefs in the area, she came across two other divers who didn’t want her around. Without warning, one of the divers rushed over and attacked her, ripping her regulator out of her mouth. With her air supply cut off, she was afraid for her life. Luckily, thanks to her training, she was able to get away safely, but not before the diver tried a second attempt at assaulting her. What a horrifying experience. A lone female diver under 50 feet of water confronted by two hostile men intent on doing her harm. Now she wants her attacker to be charged with attempted murder, and we quite agree.
Divers Prosecuted for Keeping Wreck Salvage
In a previous post, I espoused the virtues of seeking long lost sunken treasure. There are thousands upon thousands of shipwrecks littered on the seabed just waiting to be discovered. However, as a salvage diver, you must be sure to declare what you have found with the proper agencies. Otherwise you could end up like Edward Huzzey and David Knight. Ed and Dave were hard-working, you could say that about them. The two divers, over the course of 13 years, using explosives and cutting torches, managed to recover over 300 thousand dollars’ worth of valuables from nine sunken vessels, some more than 200 years old. But they failed to inform the Maritime and Coastal Agency about any of their finds. They now face big-time fines for each undeclared discovery or pay the rightful the owners twice the value of the items recovered.
Diving with Swarms of Sharks
It makes for a great picture. Andy Murch is a self-proclaimed shark fanatic. He’s been taking people on shark-diving trips around the world, specializing in allowing divers up-close-and-personal encounters with all kinds of sharks. By using bait (an illegal and unwise practice, see above) he is able to entice the predators close to his dive boat in large groups so his clients can snap photos and take video. Some may say Andy is just doing what he loves. So was Steve Irwin. Basically, this is the same as feeding an alligator at the local swimming hole. These apex predators are becoming accustomed to associating food with people, the same people who play and fish and swim at the beaches. Andy is feeding his ego, nothing more. The reality is that this is stupid behavior. Real divers who encounter sharks aren’t impressed with the pictures this guy takes.
Sources: grindtv.com | telegraph.co.uk | palmbeachpost.com | dailymail.co.uks