Keeping with this week’s theme of Shark Week, I thought I’d put together a short list of essential gear to keep you safe while swimming with sharks! Just because the late great Roy Scheider wrestled Jaws with his bare hands doesn’t mean we all can. Check out these tips and stay safe my friends:
Shark Suit – While it may look like Sir Lancelot’s armor suit, this medieval style protection, worn over a neoprene wetsuit will protect you from the razor sharp teeth of a hungry shark. The tightly woven steel or titanium rings will prevent the shark from puncturing the skin, because some shark’s bites are so powerful, it is still possible to suffer broken arms and legs…but at least you’ll keep those sometimes useful limbs.
- Chum – If you’re going out to see some sharks, you’re going to need something to grab their attention. Chum is the perfect solution. Typically comprised of fish parts and blood, chum is the best way to tickle the taste buds of a starving shark. NOTE: Chumming is illegal in many parts of the world, so please consult with a professional before heading to the nearest beach with fish parts in your pocket.
Shark Proof Cage – If checking out a shark from a boat is too boring and free diving with a tiger shark isn’t your idea of fun, then try taking a dip in a Shark Proof Cage for an up close and personal, and safe, shark experience. Cape Town offer’s a fantastic SCUBA Cage Diving Experience, pretty much guaranteeing you a chance to go face to face with a Great White! If you’re headed to South Africa for next year’s World Cup, take a break and have a swim with Bruce, the Great White in Nemo.
- Knowledge – Did you know, that if you flip a shark on its back, it goes into a near catatonic state? The scientific term for this phenomenon is, Tonic Immobility. Tiger sharks reef sharks are quite susceptible to being flipped on their back and paralyzed, but Great Whites…not so much. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re feeling a little uncomfortable with a shark swimming nearby, just flip it on it’s back and swim away! After all, knowing is have the battle. (Actual results may vary)
This is just a short list of gear essentials and tips you should take with you when exploring the underwater world of sharks. Be sure to check out the Discovery Channel for more info than you could ever imagine about sharks.
Have any other tips or suggestions? Leave a comment below.
Chainmail photo by OZinOH/Creative Commons; Shark cage photo by KTesh/Creative Commons; Great White photo by david_salvatori/Creative Commons.