A diver off the Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean Sea was suddenly forced to fend off a shark attack with the pole spear he had been using to cull the area of the invasive and destructive lionfish. A Caribbean reef shark came out of nowhere, scaring the bejesus out of diver Jason Dimitri, who had just speared a lionfish in about 70 feet of water. Watch as the normally shy reef shark attacks Dimitri, who does a commendable job in defending himself:
Reef sharks are usually indifferent around divers, but they are known to become aggressive when food is present, which describes the circumstances of the shark attack on Dimitri.
“I want to make it clear that I am hunting lionfish to help protect the reef from the destruction that they cause,” Dimitri noted. “The shark was acting in his natural environment. I have no ill will toward him and will get back in the water and continue to protect the reef for future generations.”
And he will continue to protect himself in case of other shark attacks by reef sharks.
Caribbean reef sharks are common in the Caribbean Sea and are typically 6 to 8 feet in length, but can grow to 10 feet. According to the latest findings of the International Shark Attack File, there have been 27 shark attacks attributed to the Caribbean reef shark, four of them unprovoked, none fatal. Make that five unprovoked attacks.
Dimitri remains undeterred.
“In no way did this encounter discourage me from getting back into the water,” he said.
Subscribe to Outdoors 720 by email