Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
X
July 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

The Florida Shark Diving Saga Continues

a bite and an attack raise more issues

from the July, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In March, our item entitled "Kill 'em but Don't' Feed 'em" covered John L. Russell's campaign to make it illegal in the U.S. to feed sharks for diver observation. It is illegal in Florida waters, but Russell claimed that some Florida dive operators are breaking this law, alleging that Randy Jordan of Emerald Charters in Jupiter, among others, conducts shark dives. Jordan was listed as the owner of Emerald Charters until December 2016, when ownership was transferred to 257 Charters, but he remains listed as the captain of the dive boat.

Undercurrent got plenty of feedback from readers, published in the April edition, with opinions equally divided, especially among local Jupiter divers. While noting that shark feeders like Jordan do valuable conservation work, such as removing hooks from sharks, we underlined the number one rule if attending a shark feed dive: let someone else do the feeding!

This proved portentous. At the end of May, a shark bit Jordan on his hand during his shark feed dive, causing such a severe injury that he was airlifted to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach Post reported that Jordan underwent 'reattachment surgery.' A shadow was already hanging over Jordan's head, as the week before, seven divers became separated from Jordan's vessel and had to be rescued by U.S. Coast Guard.

In 2015, Jordan was sentenced to a year's probation and 100 hours of community service and fined $1,500 after being convicted of three misdemeanor charges stemming from illegally feeding sharks. Jordan said, "When people see that the sharks are not going to rip them to shreds, then they're not afraid of them, and they begin to love sharks and appreciate them as the apex predators that we need. Secondly, by monetizing sharks, by making money from people seeing them, it makes it so that sharks are worth a lot more money alive than dead."

In 2011, Jim Abernethy, known for his organized shark interactions in the Bahamas from his vessel Shear Water, was also flown to St. Mary's Medical Center after being bitten on the arm during a shark feed. Jordan apparently has suffered past injuries, as well.

George Burgess of the Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History has said that a bite that occurs when someone is feeding a shark is considered a provoked incident rather than a shark attack. "The impression that shark diving operations give is that it's a perfectly safe operation. It's generally safe, but not perfectly safe."

However, a friend of Emerald Charters said that Jordan did not receive a shark bite, but the bite of a 'sea creature.' Undercurrent has yet to receive a response from Randy Jordan regarding what sea creature bit him and the extent of his injuries.

Of course, there is plenty of shark feeding in the Bahamas, and in early June, snorkeling in the waters off the Atlantis Resort in Nassau in the nearby Bahamas, Tiffany Johnson of North Carolina had her right forearm completely severed at the elbow by an attacking shark. The mother of three was airlifted to Charlotte to have multiple surgeries after being initially treated in a Bahamas hospital to stem the bleeding. While some people argue that the injury is due to shark feeding, there is no direct evidence. Sharks have bitten humans since they first shared the ocean together.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide


Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2021 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

fc