Curious sharks and stingrays surround swimmers in Belize

Published September 10, 2020 2,336 Views $12.26 earned

Rumble / Wild WildlifeImagine being able to swim in crystal clear water "infested" with sharks and stingrays that greet swimmers like old friends. Perfectly safe, these swimmers experienced an up close encounter with some of the moist feared animals in the ocean. But the reality is that the sharks and stingrays are no threat to humans, and this wonderful encounter demonstrates this very well.

Nito, known in the scuba diving world as "Big Sexy" is world renowned for his diving skill and his serious approach to a sport that requires training, careful planning, and attention to detail. He takes great pride in guaranteeing his clients safety while under his care. But he also has a fun-loving side that makes diving with him an experience that will not be forgotten.

Big Sexy has a love for the ocean, the reefs, and all of the animals that live there. He strives to educate his guests and to provide them with encounters that educate and that foster a similar love for the animals. The first step in making people comfortable is make sure that they are relaxed unafraid.

When this beautiful day of scuba diving was finished, Big Sexy treated his guests to a bonus swim at a place that the locals call "Shark/Ray Alley". It is here in this marine sanctuary that the animals are protected and safe, yet free to come and go as they please. The animals have learned that humans here pose no threat and they have developed a trust and curiosity that brings them up close for face to face encounters. The water is not deep and the clients were able to leave their scuba gear in the boat.

Big Sexy hopped into the water with his delighted group to swim among these predators. While very few sharks are an actual danger to humans unless threatened, these nurse sharks are particularly docile and gentle. They are scavengers who eat injured or dead fish, playing an essential role in keeping the reef clean and healthy. They are still wild animals and they must be treated with respect, but the sharks have no desire to bite people, even when they are close enough to do so.

The stingrays are an equally misunderstood animal, having an undeserved reputation as savage killers. The tragic death of the beloved Steve Irwin cemented this fear for many people. But stingrays are curious and docile creatures with no desire to harm humans either. Their main predators are sharks that attack from behind and above. The stingray will reflexively stab at something that surprises them with contact in this way, but they will never attack people who don't try to handle them improperly.

This video actually shows one of the swimmers being met by a stingray that swims straight into his arms and makes no move to escape when it is lifted gently. The curious stingray initiated the contact on its own terms and the swimmer is obviously thrilled.

Big Sexy has been introducing new scuba divers to the ocean, and accompanying seasoned scuba veterans for more than two decades. He was taught to dive by his father who grew up on the island of Ambergrise Caye in the town of San Pedro. This truly is "La ISla Bonita" and it is easy to see why Big Sexy loves it so much.

Belize is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Big Sexy can be found at Chuck & Robbie's Dive Instruction right on the beach and he is always waiting to take another group out to experience his "playground".

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