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February 2003 Vol. 29, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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More About Shark Feeding

from the February, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dear Editor,

My dive partner and I were overcome by deja vu after reading your article about the woman attacked by a shark while people aboard the Sea Dancer were apparently throwing food into the water.

Referencing our dive logs, we were passengers on Peter Hughes Sea Dancer the week of April 10-17, 1999, out of Provo. Huge letters on the bottom of the Sea Dancer and clearly visible underwater read: "Eat at Stan's." ( Stan was the cook.) It became apparent that this sign was not only for the guests on the boat but also for the visitors underneath the boat.

On April 11, 1999, at a dive site near French Cay, Stan, other crew members, and a few guests began throwing food overboard from the top deck and the dive deck because a Caribbean reef shark was circling the boat. Approximately half of the divers were still underwater. A crew member was in the water near the ladder with his camera as the shark approached him at a high rate of speed with its jaws opened. He probably escaped serious injury by using the camera to smash the nose of the shark. Fortunately, the shark veered away. When the crew member jumped out of the water, the other passengers cheered. This is not my idea of responsible scuba activities. I repeatedly expressed my displeasure at this practice as divers were still in the water. One crew member's response was: "They can wait to come up." I suppose that is fine except if a diver were low on air and needed to surface. This practice was repeated throughout the trip.

Your article raises a serious concern that we hope is addressed by appropriate authorities, agencies, or legal proceedings.

-- Dorene Fredette and Jay Prochnow

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