Spooked sharks hit divers in Maldives – Divernet

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Just weeks after a US scuba diver was badly injured by a dive-boat propeller at a site close to the Maldives’ capital Malé, guests from another liveaboard have had a frightening encounter with spinner sharks at a nearby site.

A video has revealed that during a staged feed using a baited container, one shark became entangled in the weighted downline and panicked, spooking the other sharks present. 

A number of these collided with divers, guests on the liveaboard Myna 2, many of whom were in mid-water at the time. At least one diver was said to have sustained injuries, described as non-life-threatening.

Spinner sharks, which resemble blacktips and grow no longer than 3m, do not generally pose a threat to humans, though they are noted for their excitement in the presence of food,

The dive-site lies just outside the harbour on the artificial island of Hulhumalé, and is exposed not only to strong currents but heavy boat traffic between Malé’s international airport and the resort islands, where the majority of diving takes place. The incident is reported to have reignited a continuing debate about shark-feeding in the Maldives.

Also off Hulhumalé

In the earlier incident off Hulhumalé on 20 January, a 63-year-old guest from the Maldives Aggressor II liveaboard had her leg severed from the knee down by the propeller of the diving dhoni as she and her buddy attempted to get back aboard.

The operator later stated that the unnamed woman’s SMB had become entangled in the boat’s propeller, leading to her injuries.

However, the diver’s Canadian buddy Eric Alo, along with her daughter Carla Ness, have since disputed on Divernet that there was any entanglement. They claim that the pair were attempting to climb the still-lowered dhoni ladder when the engine started, with their shouts going unheard.

An investigation by Maldives authorities as well as an internal enquiry were said to be underway. 

Also on Divernet: Prop severs female diver’s leg in Maldives, Trapping Zone: Mystery canteen for Maldives sharks, Maldives denies plans to endanger sharks, Channel-diving under power in the Maldives

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