My Experience Swimming With Sharks
Today sharks are often portrayed in a negative way by the media. It seems as if the only time sharks are mentioned in the news it’s how they’re attacking people and swarming the beaches, and this paints them with the horrible image as mindless creatures that only want to attack people. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I would know because I’ve experienced the exact opposite while in the water with sharks. In the summer of 2017, I was part of a dive trip to Key Largo, Florida to dive John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Going into this trip I was hoping to get a chance to see sharks up close for the first time, and I was fortunate to have it happen. I was able to get just feet away from nurse sharks about six feet long twice. The sharks were completely still and paid no attention to me or my dive buddies as we admired them. The most eye-opening experience came when I saw the dorsal fin of a shark off in the distance. I signaled to my group there was a shark ahead and began to swim towards the it. I noticed that while heading towards the shark it was heading towards me too. When the shark was roughly 20 feet away I stopped, and hovered to wait and see how close it would get as I allowed the shark to swim up to me. The shark, about a four to five foot reef shark, swam within about five feet of me and turned away. The same animal that is claimed to be a man killer swam peacefully with me. After having such an amazing animal swim so close to me and do nothing to harm me, I wonder how these animals can be portrayed so harshly. None of the sharks I dove with seemed to even care I was there, they had no interest in me whatsoever. I would suggest to anyone with a fear of these animals is first do your own research on them, and then actually get in the water with them to see that they are not the mindless killing machines that they’re made out to be. It’s truly an unbelievable eye-opening experience.
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