Shark Human Face Off
By Rebecca Drew
INCREDIBLE underwater images show the moment a group of divers came face-to-face with a 13-foot-long Tiger shark on the ocean floor.
The spectacular sequence shows the divers reaching out and even petting the 1,000-pound predators as the inquisitive beasts happily pose for the camera. Other pictures show the sharks appearing to swim with the divers as they move towards the water’s surface.
The stunning photographs were taken at Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama by photographer, Steve Hinczynski (49) from Venice, Florida, USA. To take his images Steve used a Canon 7D Mark II camera equipped with Ikelite underwater housing.
“This particular shark diving expedition was a last-minute decision,” said Steve.
“I’ve been on numerous shark expeditions before but what made this one different was we would have a first timer with us; this would be his first-time diving with big sharks without a cage.
“That by itself isn’t uncommon but several years ago, he had been bitten by a Tiger shark while body boarding and lost his lower leg.
“While this may generate hatred in some people, he became an advocate for saving sharks, not killing them and I thought how could you not want to be in the water to share that experience.”
Mike Coots who is pictured in the images lost his leg in October 1997 after a terrifying tiger shark attack whilst surfing.
Like Mike, Steve said that he wants to show people that sharks aren’t mindless killers and that they need protection.
“As I learned more and more about the ocean, I realised that there may come a day where I would never see another shark alive in the ocean,” added Steve.
“Many sharks are in danger of becoming extinct and the passion turned into a mission.
“I want to do whatever I can to try to save sharks and dispel media driven hype that sharks are mindless killers.
“We need to be respectful of what they are capable of but we shouldn’t be fearful of them; we can all share their waters.
“There’s an incredible feeling of acceptance when they start swimming next to you.
“They are actually quite cautious and fearful of us. We are strangers to them and something to be wary of.
“It takes time to build a relationship with them and earn their trust but once that happens it becomes magical.”