Kyle Kinmon, Spearfisher
Great Bahama Bank, Bahamas
I had a close encounter with a hungry big bull shark three days ago and wanted to say thanks for saving my life! I was spearfishing on the Great Bahama Bank and had just shot a large hog fish. After wrestling it from underneath a ledge, I turned and looked up to push off the bottom toward the surface. I was 40 feet deep and hugging the fish to my chest. To my surprise, I made immediate eye contact with a very thick eight foot bull shark coming full speed in attack mode directly toward me. Amazingly, when it got within 10 feet, it turned 90 degrees to the right, swam to the bottom and disappeared into the distance. I have no doubt that if I was not wearing the freedom 7, I would have been badly injured, and lost my trophy hog fish! I have had the shark shield for more than five years and will never be without it while spearfishing. Thank you.
Alan Williams, Surfing
Byron Bay, Australia
Yesterday was my first confirmed encounter with a great white surfing. I have surfed around 15 sessions now with my SURF7 amidst several shark incidents on my stretch of coast near Ballina and Byron Bay Australia. Yesterday was my first confirmed encounter with a great white surfing with 3 others at flat rock Ballina, close to the site of last months attack and fatality. We all exited the water when one of our group raised the alarm. It reinforces my trust in your device as I can with certainty say that I have been circled by a very large one and it kept its distance allowing us to return to shore.
Daran Thompson, Surfer
Perth, Western Australia
I use a Shark Shield for peace of mind for myself and my family. I have four children with another on the way. My wife and my mother were both very concerned about me surfing with all the shark attacks and strongly encouraged me to get a Shark Shield. I don’t surf with it all the time. I use it when I’m surfing alone or days that seem “sharky” and overcast. I also use it early in the morning and at dusk.
I had heard the rumour that it attracts sharks, but I read up on that and I now understand why that’s a fallacy. I was also concerned that it might get in my way while surfing, but it absolutely does not. I simply do not notice it in the water. I don’t notice it surfing or paddling, which was a very pleasant surprise.
Kieren Brown, Surfer, Kayaker and SUP
I use a Shark Shield for peace of mind. I have a wife and two young kids and I want to come home every time after I’ve been in the water. Before I bought my Shark Shield, I was questioning continuing with my surfing.
Initially, I thought it felt heavy, but once I was in the water, I felt nothing. I can quite easily feel seaweed on my leg rope, but with the Shark Shield there was no noticeable drag either paddling or surfing.
The price of a Shark Shield for that peace of mind is totally worth it.
Dean Gregory, Surfer
Perth, Western Australia
I used to only use my Shark Shield in sharky areas, but after a mate was taken by a shark, I use it all the time now. It takes that little niggle out of the back of my mind, helps you relax and just surf.
I don’t really notice the Shark Shield, a bit in small waves under three feet when there’s not a lot of power, you can feel it a bit at the top of your turns, and it’s difficult to throw the tail. But if there is a bit of punch in the wave then no dramas. No effect in the tube either. When the waves are small I use an old thick twinny and you don’t feel any drag. Just keep surfing with it, after a half a dozen surfs, you wont notice it on your board and your surfing will be your focus.
Derek Murray, Surfer
Shark Shield gives me a lot more confidence, especially when surfing alone, or at a new spot. I find I still go out even when the risk factors are increased a bit…if there is a river mouth nearby, or if it is dusk. My surf buddy has just got one now too, after 6 months of surfing with me, because he doesn’t like the thought he is more attractive to shark when we go out.
The Shark Shield doesn’t affect my surfing. There are so many other factors that have more impact – the type of board I’m on, wave conditions, my own weight, level of fitness…all of these make a difference, whereas the Shark Shield is just a small extra weight on my board. I’m intermediate, so I can’t really tell the difference between having the Shark Shield and not.
Pete Watman, Spearfisher
My brand new replacement unit arrived yesterday and I just wanted to thank you for your great service and no-fuss approach to business. Like a lot of divers I bought a Shark Shield after a bad encounter with a great white.
Knowing something wants to eat you without sustaining an injury from its prey (me and my spear) is quite chilling. It took me a while to get my mojo back!
My second encounter with an even larger GWS went differently – probably because I was wearing a Shark Shield. The shark came up, checked out me and the kingfish I’d just speared and kept going.
I often spearfish alone or separated from the group and the Shark Shield is a reassurance – as much psychological as physical. We’re seeing more and more large sharks in Sydney waters and also in NZ where I often dive. I’ve had to physically fend off whalers plenty of times in the past – but never when wearing a Shark Shield. I’ll be taking the new unit to Tonga on a trip in August.
Thanks for helping make me feel more at ease in the water.
Adam Farrow, Diver
Nearly two weeks ago, I was abalone diving off of the California coast in an area known for Great Whites and attacks. I have had several encounters with GWs in the past so I purchased a Shark Shield and mounted it inside my dive tube with the tail going through a hole in the bottom of the tube.
In the middle of our trip a large white, about 18′ came straight at me, it was viewed by the people in the boat, not me. They warned me about the shark, I thought it was farther away from me than it was so I continued diving. they eventually said the shark had left the area, I had great confidence in my safety because I knew my shield was on and working and that there has never been an attack on a person with a Shark Shield. Later I found out that the shark came within 3 meters of me and the shield and then made a left turn to avoid the shield. Just wanted to say thanks.
Paul Hosie, Diver
Perth, Western Australia
If faced with a five metre white pointer in the waters off Western Australia, not many people would swim toward it to get a closer look but that’s exactly what Paul Hosie did over the weekend.
Mr Hosie says he has seen plenty of large marine life underwater including whale sharks, manta rays and seals but this was his first encounter with the ocean’s top predator.
Paul Hosie was diving at the HMAS Swan wreck site just off the coast of Dunsborough on Sunday when he noticed a big black shape go past him just 10 metres away.
“When I looked at it there was no doubt what it was; it was dark above with white below, just the enormous bulk of it and a massive tail fin.”
The unmistakable sight of a great white shark would leave most people swimming in the opposite direction but Mr Hosie was fascinated by the sight and wanted to get closer.
“After about five minutes of observing it, I decided that I wanted a closer look. A lot of people would say that was a foolhardy stupid thing to do but I had a shark shield and I know the behaviour of these things.
“People are taken from the surface, that’s how these things feed and attack not at depth, not normally.”
Mr Hosie is an ex-Navy member who has been recreational diving for 18 years and was diving with his fiancee Christie at the time. He says he has seen many sharks over the years but this was by far the largest shark he has seen while diving.
Mr Hosie and his partner were wearing an ‘electronic shark deterrent’ at the time, which is a device that straps around the ankles with an antenna hanging below the diver which emits an electric field that induces spasms in a shark’s snout.
However, the effectiveness of the device was about to be tested by Mr Hosie as he swam down away from the wreck and down to the ocean floor, the same level as the shark.
“It actually did take an interest in me because something had moved into its space and it swam straight towards me from about 20-30 metres away.
“At about 10 metres away when it was still heading straight towards me and I established eye contact, that’s when I thought, ‘maybe this wasn’t such good idea’.
“But I had faith in my shark shield otherwise I wouldn’t have been wearing it and about 5 to 7 metres away, it turned away from me.”
Mr Housie has been wearing the electronic shark deterrent since a fellow diver was killed by a great white in 2008 at Port Kennedy, a location that Mr Hosie frequently dived.
“I don’t go diving to put my life at risk; I dive to enjoy the experience so from then on I’ve worn a shark shield all the time.”
You can listen to Paul Hosie’s full interview with ABC’s Geoff Hutchison above where he describes his close encounter with a great white shark.
See the full ABC story and interview here.
David Jack, Ocean Swimmer
Cottesloe, Western Australia
I’m a regular swimmer at Cottesloe beach in Western Australia. In October of 2011 another regular, Brin Martin, had been killed by a shark. His body was never recovered but from the bite marks on his bathers it was determined to be a white pointer. Needless to say this motivated me to purchase a shark shield. On the second day of using it, at about 8.45 in the morning on Saturday the 5th of November 2011 I was about 100m off shore near the end of my kilometer long swim. Swimming freestyle I turned my head to take a breath.
On the bottom behind me I saw a white pointer, it charged. I turned to face it. It was travelling at full speed and when it hit the field generated by the shield I could see the discomfort on its face. It was travelling too fast to stop but veered away and circled around seeing if it could get closer. When it couldn’t it swam off, almost as fast as me. I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t been wearing the Shark Shield! David Jack.