Thursday, 9 December 2010

Regular Red Sea divers not worried by shark attacks

I've just spoken to a UK-based Dive Master who is travelling to Hurghada, on Egypt's Red Sea coast, tomorrow. He'll spend the run up to Christmas with a group of divers and local guides on a 'live-aboard' trip from Marsa Alam. They'll dive some incredible offshore sites including Sha'ab Aiman and Sha'ab Mahrus, in the hope of seeing grey, silver tip and white tip reef sharks.

Divers on live-aboard trips average three dives per day, each lasting around an hour, so he'll be spending around 20 hours in the Red Sea. In light of the four recent shark attacks in Sharm el Sheikh, that could sound like a long time to be underwater.

But he told me: "Regular Red Sea divers won’t be worried by the attacks or the idea of continuing to dive with sharks. They are used to them, as are other warm water divers from elsewhere. But if it turns out that several oceanic white tips carried out these attacks it may mean their feeding practices are undergoing radical changes, and that is a concern."

Shark attacks are very unusual in the Red Sea, particularly attacks by the species in question this time - the oceanic white tip. Still, the FCO travel advice for Egypt, which was updated today, continues to read that 'most diving and water sport activities in the Sharm El Sheikh area remained suspended'.

See the latest statement from Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Watersports here
(Image by Diving Mullah)

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