WATCH: Great white totally breaches shark cage with diver still inside

2016-10-14 10:12 - Carina Greeff
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Cape Town - Shock, horror! In this shark cage diving trip a great white shark manages to fully breach the side of a shark cage off Guadalupe Island, west of Mexico.

The massive great white was lured by large chunks of tuna tied to a rope. The videographer and owner of YouTube channel dedicated to his two sons Gabe & Garret, uploaded the footage on Thursday, 13 October but does not specify when the trip took place.

The California-based father says, "What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. When a great white shark lunges and bites something, it is temporarily blinded. They also cannot swim backwards. So this shark lunged at the bait, accidentally hit the side of the cage, was most likely confused and not able to swim backwards, it thrust forward and broke the metal rail of the cage."

Unsure whether there was somebody in the cage, alarmed attendants instantly made a plan to get the great white out of the cage.

(Photo: Gabe and Garret)

However, there was a single diver inside the cage. YIKES!

He ended up outside the bottom of the cage, looking down on two great white sharks. The diver is a very experienced dive instructor, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured. 

"The boat crew did an outstanding job, lifting the top of the cage, analyzing the frenzied situation, and the shark was out after a few long seconds."

View the horrific incident here:


(Video: Gabe and Garret)

South Africa is home to one of the best shark cage diving spots in the world, known as Shark Alley off Gansbaai. Operators such as Marine Dynamics are very involved with the conservation of this threatened species and implementing responsible tourism practices that are tightly regulated. 

SEE: Hook, line and sinker: Great White danger along SA's coastlines

So should you think twice about putting shark cage diving on your bucket list? We contacted the founder of Marine Dynamics Wilfred Chivell to find out his opinion of the video, as the shark was clearly hurt during the incident.

Chivell says, "This is not in South Africa. Believe it to be Mexico. We don't know how old this footage is nor if it was a film crew versus a tourist trip. Film crews often work with their own equipment/cages."

"Everyone in the industry in South Africa has approved cages inspected by the authorities with bar size close enough together that this would never happen. Marine Dynamics has a 4,5m long cage, 2,5m deep."

“Our sturdy stainless steel cage is professionally engineered and made out of a 25mm squared tubing covered with 6mm security mesh approximately 160mm apart. It has no sharp edges on which a shark can injure itself and is firmly secured to the side of the boat. Divers can easily get out whenever they want to as the top of our cage is covered - with two individual lids.”

"Hope the shark is ok? Our shark handlers are trained and the shark is never pulled into the cage for dramatic effect. In South Africa we have families doing this activity and this kind of footage creates inaccurate perceptions."

If you have any doubts about whether the shark would be able to breach the cage during your trip in South Africa, the industry is regulated by the White Shark Protection Foundation (GWSPF).

In 2013 an incident involving a group of Canadian tourists, where a 2.5m great white attempted to ram its head into the viewing gap, saw that particular operator reduce its cage viewing gap by 10% to 45cm, the lowest in the industry.

At the time the GWSPF chair Kim MacLean said the incident was isolated, the process was safe, and that the divers were not in serious danger.

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