If there's one thing that we fail to understand here at Underwater Thrills are the new media savvy individuals in our industry who are attempting to re-categorize pretty straightforward shark events.
Case in point-"Shark attacks" vs "Shark mistakes".
When sharks attack people, vessels, man made objects, or anything that is not primary or secondary food sources these new media folks rush in and quickly brand the event as a "shark mistake".
Tragically, sometimes these "mistakes" end the lives of the "victims", a term we're pretty sure will be soon be changed to UPP's or "unwilling predatory participants".
This current school of thought goes as far as stating "if the shark fails to actually remove a part of its victim, then what you have is a "shark mistake". For the sake of reality, let's get back to basics here and recognize that sharks are first and foremost predators. In the same category as bears, wolves, tigers and crocodiles.
Yes, we know sharks are not actively hunting humans.
To suggest that sharks make "mistakes", is to suggest an intelligence far higher then they have been tested for. It is also done to lower the threshold for interactions with these animals. These animals do occasionally attack, they are predatory. Divers seeking encounters with them should first and foremost understand this and move away away from the notion of a "shark mistake". Encounters with these animals should always have safety as the foremost consideration.
99.9% of all commercial encounters with these animals are safe. That's an amazing statistic all things considered. One that proves sharks are for the most part uninterested in humans. But when they occasionally attack, they attack. Plain and simple.
Oh, and by the way-there was a "shark mistake" off Catalina last week involving a Kayak and a white shark. As far as we can tell from reports this latest "mistake" had enough power behind it to completely toss the unwitting kayaker out of her kayak.
Fortunately, she did not become a "unwilling predatory participant" and swam safely to shore.