By Mark McConville
SHOCKING footage has caught a dive guide punching a Nurse shark during a shark adventure dive in the Bahamas.
The distressing video shows the guide move in to disperse sharks who were trying to get food out of the bait box which had not been fully closed.
The guide aggressively punches the shark several times before throwing it out of the way. His aggression isn’t reserved for just one shark as he drags another by the tail to get rid of it.
The shameful scene was caught on camera by 33-year-old accountant Nicholas Jones, from the Cayman Islands.
“This happened twice over the course of the dive,” he said.
“Nurse sharks are clever, and are able to use their suction and flexible manoeuvres to get food out of tight places.
“The guide did not lock the bait box properly – twice – and proceeded to punish the sharks for their innate ability and natural reaction to accessible food on a shark-feeding dive.
“So basically, the shark feeder lost his temper with the nurse sharks and punched them because of his own mistake. If the nurse sharks had eaten all of the chum the reef sharks would have left the “arena” and the show would have been over.
“Upon surfacing when the guide was questioned about his treatment of the sharks he responded ‘Yeah, sometimes you just have to demand some F*ing respect’.”
The abhorrent act of violence against the peaceful shark was just the latest distasteful behaviour Nicholas observed on the dive.
“Coming from the Cayman Islands we are accustomed to dive operators who provide first class service which includes a detailed safety and educational information briefing,” he explained.
“For the first dive, the reef was completely dead, rubble, and bleached. Now, I know that coral reefs are under serious stress world-wide but when I saw one of the guests holding on to one of the last remaining coral heads with her thick gloves (diving with gloves is illegal for this reason in Cayman), I understood why this particular area was so bad.
“There was no mention or reminder of proper diving etiquette during the briefing before the dive. Coral is a very fragile animal and should never be handled by humans.
“We arrived at the “arena” and it was amazing having the sharks around. However, one of the Dive Masters grabbed a nurse shark aggressively by the tail. I brushed it off.”
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