Shark dives can be some of the most rewarding and thrilling underwater experiences for divers. The Bahamas national marine sanctuary, established in 2011, is home to a huge number of shark species. Divers have incredible opportunities to experience relaxed diving in calm, crystal clear, warm water. Epic Diving offers expeditions focused on Oceanic Whiteitp Sharks, Tiger Sharks, and Great Hammerhead Sharks. The dive format is different for each species and location. Here are a few of the general concepts to keep divers safe while on one of these seafaris. A more detailed shark diving and boat safety briefing are given on each expedition.
This is the single most important thing divers can do to ensure their safety. Sharks have an extra sense, one you and I don’t, and it’s sole purpose is to pick up on the distress signals given out by sick, dying, or injured animals. Anxiety mimics many of these signals and could clue a shark into that fact that you, in particular, are standing out from the crowd. Ensure all your equipment is in good working order before your trip. Complete a full buddy check before entering the water. Ensure that you are calm, rested, and hydrated before starting the dive. Alert your divemaster if you will need extra attention or anticipate any problems.
[quote align=”center”] Keep Calm. This is the single most important thing divers can do while shark diving to ensure their safety.[/quote]
Dark Dive Gear.
This is not the time to try out your brand new fluorescent pink dive fins. Shark divers should get in the habit of wearing all black gear. Avoiding the high-contrast color schemes is best. Divers should leave all jewelry behind, as it may create a flashing glint of light that excites the sharks. We require all divers to wear full wetsuits (no shortys or plain bathing suits permitted) as well as warm water dive gloves. Hoods are recommended, but not required. Long hair should be tied back.
Do not chase after the sharks.
Dives at tiger beach and for the great hammerhead sharks are mostly stationary dives were guests kneel on the bottom and stay put. Dives with the oceanic whitetips are typically done as a open/blue water drift. For either scenario, we encourage divers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. There is no point to swimming after the sharks. While guests tend to do this to get closer to the sharks, this behavior only results in chasing the sharks away. Staying calm and quiet is the best way to experience the sharks up close. Also, this often leads to divers getting fatigued and burn through their air more quickly.
Surface with enough reserve in your tank.
We expect all divers to return to the boat with a minimum of 500psi/50bar in their tanks. In some cases, there may be strong current and divers are often carrying heaving dive gear and cameras. Although you may be having the best scuba dive of your life, plan to return to the boat with enough air to allow for a calm, slow, safe ascent.
Whether your encounters are on SCUBA or just freediving, these simple safety precautions can give you a better experience underwater. Pay attention to the dive crew and boat captain at all times for updates on dive conditions, weather, and all safety concerns. Please let the crew know if you’re not feeling well or need extra assistance during your shark dive. The staff is available to help if you ask. More thorough briefings will be given on location. For more information including helpful tips preparing for your shark diving expedition, visit us online at www.EpicDiving.com or email your questions to [email protected]
Interested in diving with some amazing shark species? Click here to learn more about our Bahamas shark diving expeditions.