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Tourist is bitten by shark while scuba diving #551305
07/06/21 06:13 AM
07/06/21 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
This may be the first known shark attack off the coast of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, an unprecedented incident that left an American male tourist with an injured hand. On Saturday, July 3rd, while on a diving tour in an area outside the barrier reef known as ‘Tackle Box,’ a diver was bit on his left hand by what was described to be a bull shark, although others believe it was a reef shark. According to a report, the tour operator contacted Rickilee Response and Rescue or Triple R around 11AM on Saturday. The tourist identified as 38-year-old John Burnette Hollingsworth by the first responders, was observed with a towel wrapped around his left hand. Upon assessing the injury, it was confirmed to be a shark bite. He was treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where a tourniquet was applied to stop the bleeding. An X-ray examination determined no significant damage to the bones. Dr. Joshua A. Canul said he spent over two hours working on Hollingsworth hand. A section of his palm and skin from two of his fingers was reportedly ripped off by the shark’s bite. The wound was treated with internal and external stitches. The diver was advised to seek further medical treatment when he returns to the US. Dr. Canul said the patient will be able to use his hand again as the shark attack did not result in a serious injury.

It is unclear what caused the shark to attack the diver. The unfortunate event has been labeled as ‘unexpected’ as this has never happened before. It is suspected that it was a reef shark, as a bull shark would have done much damage.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


Visitor Bitten by Shark on Ambergris Caye

A reef shark reportedly bit a tourist during a dive tour off the coast of Ambergris Caye on Sunday. Reports from San Pedro are that the visitor was diving in an area known as Tackle Box. The shark is reported to have bitten his hand, ripping off flesh from his left palm and two of his fingers. He received stitches and fortunately did not sustain any bone damage. While the diving company has declined to be interviewed, they have described the incident as unfortunate and unexpected and insisted that they were not chumming the area to attract sharks at the time. MAR Alliance, a conservation N.G.O., has commented on the incident saying, (Quote) “although there was apparently no provisioning conducted at the time of the dive and the incident, we have strongly suggested for a decade now, that operators refrain from chumming at forereef dive sites nor spear lionfish in areas of regular shark visitation. This will minimize expectations and unwanted habituation from sharks and the possibility of unwanted interactions with divers.” (Unquote) The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

Channel 5

Re: Tourist is bitten by shark while scuba diving [Re: Marty] #551333
07/07/21 04:47 AM
07/07/21 04:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,041
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Tour operator explains Ambergris Caye is a diver’s haven despite rare shark incident

Despite reports of a rare shark incident on Saturday, July 3rd, off Ambergris Caye, scuba diving continues to be a safe and enjoyable activity when visiting the island. The unfortunate experience, which left a diver (tourist) with an injury to the left hand, is believed to be the first of its kind. The tour operator, who faced the emergency, explained that it was a small reef shark involved in the unexpected incident. It is unknown what made the shark react in such a way as daily diving trips take place in that same area near ‘Tackle Box,’ without issues.

One of the causes could be that some tour groups feed (chum) the sharks. The dive shop, in this particular case, stressed that they were not chumming the sharks and did not support such practice because it can prompt aggressive behavior in these marine animals. The unprecedented event is still puzzling, and according to the tour operator, they cannot fathom what triggered the shark to bite the diver’s hand. It is believed the shark reacted on instinct and was looking for food. “It was a freak accident, unexpected. Diving is safe in Belize, and people should not have any concerns,” said the dive shop representative. “We want to emphasize that it was not a bull shark or hammerhead, but a small reef shark, and chumming did not take place either.”

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun


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