Less than a week after a terrifying video surfaced that showed a great white shark breaking into a diving cage, footage has emerged of another harrowing incident involving a great white shark and cage divers at Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
From a submersible shark cage, Peter Maguire captured video (seen above) of a great white shark casually biting through the air hose to divers in another diving cage and then getting stuck in the cage.
The incident, previously reported but without the stunning video, occurred last month during the second annual Bluewater Travel Guadalupe group trip aboard the Nautilus Explorer and was described by diver Katie Yonker as “an experience like none other.”
Four divers in a diving cage with an upper and lower level descended 35 feet and within minutes were surrounded by a few sharks, Yonker wrote in a trip report on the Bluewater website. Yann, part of the crew, and Katie B. were in the “balcony” and David and Yonker were below.
“Less than halfway through the dive a female shark approximately 13-, 15-feet long approached Yann and he pushed her away from the cage,” Yonker wrote. “A few seconds later, the shark bit the air hose that supplies air from the surface to the divers in the cage, creating an explosion of air bubbles.
“Yann noticed an immediate loss of air flowing to his regulator, so he descended a few feet down to turn on the one-way valve from the surface supply hose so that the hookah system would not lose pressure. This was done so quickly that neither David, Katie B., nor I experienced a loss of air.
“While Yann was turning on the valve, the shark swam vertically down into the balcony of the cage, made a sharp turn, and swam right through the bars of the cage. She thrashed around for several seconds and in the process got further lodged into the bars of the cage.”
Yonker shot video of the shark stuck in the cage and posted it on YouTube, though honestly it doesn’t show much until you briefly see the stuck shark near the video’s end:
Katie B. joined the other two divers below. Yann, his regulator knocked out of his mouth by the shark, swam to the surface to catch a breath and tell the crew to bring up the cage. He then took in a breath and went back down to begin helping the divers exit the cage, which they had to do while passing right next to the stuck shark.
Once the divers were safely on the boat, the crew went to work trying to dislodge the shark from the cage.
“After a few failed attempts, they tied a rope around her tail, lowered the cage back into the water, and tried to pull her out backwards,” Yonker wrote. “Her gills were pressed against the cage bars, so divemaster Peter went into the cage and pressed on her gills, which freed the shark and she swam away.”
Yonker was quick to point out the injuries to the shark in her video were “likely from mating” and were present when the shark first appeared. She also pointed out in her trip report that the shark wasn’t attacking, it was merely “enticed by the scent of tuna, not humans.”
“It’s hard to put into words the thoughts and feelings that went through my head during this terrifying experience,” Yonker wrote. “The first minute or so felt like a horrific earthquake underwater, and I kept thinking, ‘We just need to wait this out.’
“But in the back of my head I feared the cage would break apart and this would be the end for me. I was calm, but felt very, very sad. Coincidentally, those were the exact same thoughts that went through David’s head, too.”
Yonker also expressed thanks to the entire crew of the Nautilus Explorer for “acting fearlessly” in saving the lives of the divers and the shark.
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