Bahamas shark bite update

Taken from my article over at February 27, 2008 - MSNBC's The Today Show and CNN feature Bahamas shark footage online and interview both Neal Watson and Rob Stewart. Other news articles are starting to be varied instead of all regurgitating the same content.

TODAY: People, Fatal shark bite highlights danger of sport, 6:32 a.m. PT, Feb 27, 2008 (with video) - The article puts Neal Watson's comments next to Rob Stewart's comments to show both sides of the story. It includes a video that primarily shows footage from other operations. Ironically, most of the video footage shown is of reef sharks feeds around divers, which have a much more aggressive look than footage of the slow movements of larger sharks (which are not actively fed on Jim's trips). The real irony is that the footage looks similar to what might have been taken on one of Watson's trips.

The Today Show did use some footage provided by the Shark Angels project (which I am involved in), which shows clips from Rob Stewart's dives with Jim Abernethy. Although the footage was from Tiger Beach, you can see that the sharks are not excited; they are moving slowly, and are milling around, drawn to the area by the scent of fish in the water. Shark Angels provided the Today Show with minutes of non-sensationalist footage they could have shown. Instead, they chose to show more aggressive footage from operations whose underwater practices are nothing like those conducted by JASA.

CNN Video, Shark talk - CNN's Kiran Chetry interviews Rob Stewart, who comments about the shark bite on Jim's boat. CNN shows more typical footage from Jim's operation, with lemon sharks swimming around calmly. Strangely, they also show footage of a great white shark trying to get bait on the surface while Rob is still talking about the specific event.

Sun-Sentinel, Austrian killed by shark was experienced diver, father says - Article writes about Groh's family and interviews divers who have been out with Jim Abernethy, all of who have positive things to say. There is a poll included in this story that asks whether authorities should regulate or ban these expeditions. So far, 81.5% of 2739 responses say that they should be.

Also, this story states that the current investigation by the Coast Guard is not a criminal one: "The inquiry is not a criminal one at this point. 'It's simply a maritime accident we're investigating,' Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil said. 'Whenever you have a maritime accident, we look into it to determine what the causal factors are and to prevent a reoccurrence.'"

Miami Herald, Shark-dive boat operator in a tight spot - article states that the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's office listed Groh's mode of death as accidental, but that the autopsy report was not yet finalized as of yesterday. The Bahamian Ministry of Tourism is reported by be evaluating whether Abernethy violated any of the country's charter-diving guidelines.

Both Patric Douglas and I are quoted (so much for the 50 hits a day, Patric!).