The most viral video of the last couple of weeks raised everybody’s attention to the cage diving and brought so many discussions around this incident.
It was filmed by one of the passengers of Solmar V liveaboard during its diving trip to Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Guadalupe Island is one of the most famous places in the whole world for cage diving with Great White Sharks. The Great White Shark accidentally entered the cage, further it left from the top window that was immediately opened by the crew.
What are the basics of cage diving?
Obviously each destination has its own regulations, Mexican operators use the cages made from alloy aluminum or stainless steel. The cage accommodates up to 4 divers, it is submerged in the water being attached to the vessel. To draw the sharks close enough to observe, the bait is permitted. The bait should be removed from the water if the shark approches closer than 2m / 6.5 ft to the vessel, the bait rope is made from a natural fibers and should be not shorter than 12m / 40ft.
What really happened?
There have been many debates around the fact either the crew violated the regulations of baiting or not. The liveaboard Solmar V is one from the pioneers in the region and has a very strong positive reputation since it started operating in 2004. There were two major lines of the debates: the diver was put into danger, the shark was injured. Turns out this case was an unfortunate accident. Here is an official letter the Solmar V communicated after the incident.
The shark conservators have been continuously debating. Some of them are strictly against cage diving as it can be harmful for both, sharks and people. While others believe that exactly the cage diving helps people to better understand sharks and live in piece with the nature.
Everything humans do should be responsible, cage diving is no exception. Research and safety are the key factors of each cage diving trip. The Solmar V has already put the maximum efforts and has taken the precautionary measures to make sure similar incidents will never happen again. In particular they reinforced the cages and extended the zone allowing baiting from the vessel.