Cage diving Guadalupe Island proved to be an experience of a lifetime.
A group of cage divers had the experience of a lifetime while cage diving off the coast of Guadalupe Island. An eerie description of what happened describes it like this … A female shark of about 14 ft long approaches the cage and is pushed back away form the cage by one of the divers(Yann). Then a few seconds later the shark circles back and bites through the air-line that supplies oxygen from the surface to the divers below in the cage. Next, the shark circles the cage and suddenly swims down vertically into the cage and gets lodged in the cage.
So now the shark is thrashing about trying to get out and the divers in the cage are holding on trying to stay vertical.
Read on for more details about this nearly catastrophic encounter:
After about 30 seconds, Katie B. was able to descend down the ladder to the lower part of the cage to join David and me. We stood, gripping the cage in an attempt to stay upright while the cage circled back and forth and at one point was at a 45-degree angle due to the shark’s thrashing. Yann’s regulator had been knocked out of his mouth by the shark, so he retreated to the surface to catch a breath of air and to tell the crew to bring up the cage. I turned on my GoPro just in time to capture the largest shark we had seen, Air Demon AKA “Big Mama,” swimming vertically within a few feet of our cage only seconds after Yann had exited the cage and ascended to the surface. Yann descended back down to the cage, with only the air in his lungs – no hookah, to help us exit the cage and make it safely to the boat.
Katie B. was first to go up the ladder and make it to the boat. I motioned for David to go next, but he took my camera and pointed at my weight belt, reminding me to remove it before exiting the cage. After removing my weights and retrieving my camera, I quickly started rising to the top of the cage. As I neared the top of the balcony, it was nearly impossible to see anything because the shark was blocking much of the exit and visibility was limited by all the air bubbles and blood in the water. When I reached the surface I was disoriented, but Yann, standing on the outside of the cage, grabbed me to make sure I hung on and was facing the right direction. I could see the boat, but had no idea how I would get around the shark. I heard someone yell to me to go around the tail, but on the first attempt the shark flicked her tail and I was shoved back to where I started. Divemaster Miles threw me a life ring from the boat and Yann pushed me down to help me swim under the tail. Within seconds Miles pulled me onto the boat, and not too long after David was onboard as well.
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