A recent video of a shark attack filmed at Brothers Island, Egypt has gone viral in the dive community.
Dan White, who filmed the incident, never intended for the video to be released.
(The linked video is an edited copy. Mr. White’s YouTube channel was suspended after he filed multiple copyright infringements with the company. The article will be updated once Mr. White decides how to proceed.)
The advanced open water diver shared the video with his dive guide but the clip eventually made its way onto Facebook.
White was finishing his deep diver certification with a group of five divers and two instructors on Nov. 3.
Around 11:30 a.m. the group began to surface with a plan to head to a nearby reef.
A few members of the group were on a pleasure dive, including Ian, who is identifiable in the video wearing a shorty wetsuit.
As the deep diving class completed their final exercises, several divers from other groups began swimming toward the same area.
White spotted an oceanic whitetip shark nearby, so he pointed it out to his group and began filming.
“I was recording the whitetip as I thought it was a cool encounter,” White told Tracking Sharks via email. “The day before we dove with three whitetips with no trouble at all.”
Things were a little different this time.
“As I was filming I noticed that one of the outlet diver’s bubbles spooked the shark and it turned to investigate.”
Around the same time, several divers from a German charter swam through White’s group, and the shark’s demeanor began to change.
Ian was roughly 32-feet (10m) below the water when the shark took an interest.
“The shark made three [bump] attempts on Ian, but he fended it off each time. After the third bump, one of the German divers came to help Ian.
“The German diver’s buddy saw the shark attempting to have a cheeky nibble on Ian but failed to keep his eye on the shark as it rose to his level and bit his leg.
“His buddy wrestled the shark off of him, but by that point the damage was done,” White said. Adding that the shark wrestler ‘had some serious balls’ wrestling the shark!
The dive buddy helped his shark-bitten friend to the surface. White and his girlfriend followed Ian’s wife to Ian and the reef.
After returning to the surface, they alerted the boat crew who ‘went into overdrive’ pulling other people from the water.
“They hauled everyone out the water within a few minutes, max. It was incredible. I weigh 100kg (220lbs.) and one of our crew pulled me into the Zodiac with full gear on before I could give him a three-count.”
White dropped his gear and helped pull other divers from the water. After the water was cleared, an ex-Royal Marine with medical experience left White’s boat and tended to the shark-bitten diver.
The man’s calf was severely injured. Before the man was rushed back to shore, the medic and other first responders applied a tourniquet, administered pain meds and started an IV drip.
“The ex-marine told me the diver had a clean bite mark in his lower leg, down to the bone, and his calf muscle was completely gone. Once we finished our week of diving, we heard that a German doctor was flown out to meet the diver at the medical center, and the diver was then flown home for full treatment.”
The incident won’t keep White, who already has five dive specialties under his belt, out of the water.
“I am going to continue to dive, without a doubt. In future, I’ll dive with sharks and monitor their activity while keeping an eye out for any signs of aggression, and I’ll make sure to keep them at a distance.”
Another diver was bitten in the same location earlier this year.
Alexander Kraenkl was scuba diving the site June 2018, when he was bitten on the leg while his back was turned.
Divers who encounter sharks are advised to stay calm, obtain a vertical position in the water, stay in a group, avoid acting like prey and keep an eye on the closest shark at all times.
There have been a total of 92 shark attack bites (67 with injury, 19 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2018. Five fatal**; 33 were reported in the U.S (including one fatal), with 13 occurring in Florida and 3 in Hawaii. Twenty-two have been reported in Australia, one fatal. Eight unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**Three possible scavenge