Divers in Belize find themselves surrounded by big sharks
Scuba divers are well aware of the risks that they take when they enter the ocean. Strapping on tanks of compressed air and descending 100 feet or more beneath the surface requires acceptance of certain hazards. The effects of nitrogen buildup and prolonged pressure can be dangerous if not properly managed. Divers are also aware that they are guests in this domain, and the creatures here are much more agile and equipped for the hostility of this world.
These divers in Belize had ventured out on a wall dive near the Great Blue Hole. They had been drifting along and watching the endless variety of corals and sea fans that they were swept past. They were seeing coloured fish of incredible variety and indescribable beauty. But unexpectedly, they were surrounded by curious sharks. Most were reef sharks, scavengers of the ocean that seldom bite humans. They are generally wary enough to keep their distance, and are usually not harmful unless provoked. But some of the sharks were bull sharks, a much more unpredictable animal. Bull sharks are much larger than reef sharks and their personalities are much less friendly.
The group of scuba divers that was ahead of the group in the video had been spearing lionfish. This is a practice that has been going on for years to try to eliminate the invasive lionfish that are a threat to the health of the reefs in the Caribbean. They are not a natural species and they have no natural predators, so they breed and feed without limitations. The spearfishing group were also feeding the sharks with the lionfish, a particularly dangerous practice that triggers feeding behaviour and aggression.
This group of scuba divers did what they had been trained to do to reduce the risk of shark attack. They closed their group tighter after the sharks appeared and they maintained a vertical position, making them appear less like fish. This makes it less likely that the sharks will view the humans as food.
Swimming with sharks is a fascinating and even exhilarating experience. These divers were fortunate that the improper behaviour of the other group did not get anyone hurt, but they were disappointed that this disregard for the rules took place. The underwater world is peaceful and serene most of the time, but creatures who live here can be predators one moment and prey the next. The balance is delicate and can change in an instant. Humans are clumsy and awkward in the water and improper behaviour here can have drastic and immediate consequences.
Scuba diving should only be done after receiving proper training from qualified experts.