Sharks are beau­ti­ful, diver says de­spite nar­row es­cape

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

A DIVER whose near miss with a great white shark be­came a vi­ral video sen­sa­tion, viewed more than 15 mil­lion times on Youtube, says the ocean’s apex preda­tor is “beau­ti­ful”.

Chan Ming was on a shark­watch­ing ex­cur­sion off the Mex­i­can coast when the an­i­mal broke into the metal cage pro­tect­ing him.

De­spite their fear­some rep­u­ta­tion, sharks do not nor­mally feed on hu­mans, and have to be drawn in with bait.

The shark seized the bait and crashed into the cage, break­ing part of it. Un­able to swim back­ward, it car­ried on inside, where Chan was alone.

The ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive and part-time div­ing in­struc­tor said that he tried hard to stay calm, “be­cause if I get pan­icked it will be very hor­ri­ble in there”.

“When the great white shark was break­ing into the cage, the inside of its mouth was get­ting jammed in the cage, and at that mo­ment I was think­ing ‘Hey, don’t think about com­ing in here’,” he said.

The video shows the shark ap­par­ently bleed­ing as it thrashes its way out through a gap on top of the cage, which was opened by a crew mem­ber.

An ag­o­nis­ing 20 sec­onds pass be­fore Chan, who is from Hong Kong but lives in Shang­hai, emerges safely.

The har­row­ing in­ci­dent did lit­tle to di­min­ish Chan’s fond­ness for the great white and he went back into the wa­ter the next day.

“You know in Chi­nese we say that ‘Where you fell down [is] where you need to stand up’,” said the 51-year-old.

“I still think the shark, the great white, is so beau­ti­ful. They’re very beau­ti­ful and cute.”

In a com­pany state­ment posted on Face­book, op­er­a­tor Sol­mar V Lux­ury Live-Aboard said the shark did not suf­fer any se­ri­ous in­juries.

“Shark breaches of this mag­ni­tude are a one-in-a-mil­lion oc­cur­rence,” it said.

“As un­for­tu­nate as it was, it was still an ac­ci­dent.” The com­pany – whose pri­or­ity is to of­fer “unique life ex­pe­ri­ences” – said its cages have been re­in­forced fol­low­ing the breach, and bait would be thrown fur­ther away from them in fu­ture.

Af­ter his Oc­to­ber 4 brush with the great white Chan wrote on his Face­book page that he had been “re­born” and was savour­ing Can­tonese noo­dle soup and beer, adding, “Ev­ery­day are good days.”

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