Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Diver fends off a sudden shark attack

Jason Dimitri uses pole spear to protect himself from an aggressive Caribbean reef shark in waters off the Cayman Islands

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Diver fends off a shark attack in Caribbean Sea; photo is a screen grab from the video

A diver off the Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean Sea was suddenly forced to fend off a shark attack with the pole spear he had been using to cull the area of the invasive and destructive lionfish. A Caribbean reef shark came out of nowhere, scaring the bejesus out of diver Jason Dimitri, who had just speared a lionfish in about 70 feet of water. Watch as the normally shy reef shark goes after Dimitri, who does a commendable job in defending himself:

Reef sharks are usually indifferent around divers, but they are known to become aggressive when food is present, which describes the circumstances of the shark attack on Dimitri.

“I want to make it clear that I am hunting lionfish to help protect the reef from the destruction that they cause,” Dimitri noted. “The shark was acting in his natural environment. I have no ill will toward him and will get back in the water and continue to protect the reef for future generations.”

And he will continue to protect himself in case other reef sharks have the same idea of attacking him.

Caribbean reef sharks are common in the Caribbean Sea and are typically 6 to 8 feet in length, but can grow to 10 feet. According to the latest findings of the International Shark Attack File, there have been 27 shark attacks attributed to the Caribbean reef shark, four of them unprovoked, none fatal.

Make that five unprovoked attacks.

Dimitri remains undeterred.

“In no way did this encounter discourage me from getting back into the water,” he said.

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