Never believe anything you read

I was in the Bahamas last week, and want to comment on a few articles that popped up over the past few days about a tiger shark eating a dead body in Bahamian waters. Check out these three news articles, below: 1. Shark Consumes Drowning Victim (The Bahama Journal)

Mr. Archer explained what happened when the search team tried to retrieve the bodies from the water on Sunday.

"We were able to bring back the three out of the four bodies. The shark literally took the body right out of the C.I.D. diver’s hand. They had to leave the water and come out and sit on the boat for a while to wait for it to leave," he said.

This is totally bogus, but it does sound pretty cool to have a shark take a body away from a rescue diver. I don't know who the C.I.D. are, but they weren't the ones that recovered the bodies, and the shark didn't take the body "right out of the C.I.D. diver's hand."

"As for the boat itself it is just an empty fiber glass hull right now and it is still out on the scene. They tried to turn it over but because of the damage of the boat, they were unsuccessful, so they will have to go back out with more material and heavy equipment," said Mr. Archer, adding that BASRA had completed its role in this investigation.

We saw BASRA going out to attempt to right the boat and tow it in. A few hours later, we saw them headed back into port -- without the boat. The boat had earlier been anchored in very-shallow water by the Gulf Stream Eagle in an area where boats are unlikely to be cruising (where it was found), but as we headed back to Florida at dusk, we nearly ran into the hull -- floating around in the Gulf Stream! The top of the boat had been ripped off of the upside-down hull and was tied next to it. An orange life jacket was tied to the railing, but there was nothing else -- not even a strobe. It did not show up on radar, and we were lucky that there was still some light. If we had hit that thing while traveling at night, it would have been OVER. Our boat would have gone down, and all of us who bunked in the bow probably would have been pulped. I can't believe BASRA's "completing its role in the investigation" actually means that they left a terrible navigation hazard floating around in an area where boats cruise at night.

2. Captain recounts gruesome discovery (Palm Beach Post)

When Riviera Beach-based Gulfstream Eagle Captain Mark Rose arrived at the scene, he and his crew found two men and one woman floating near a capsized boat. One had been ravaged by a shark. They later found a fourth body floating nearby.

This blurb totally neglects to mention the fact that the people on the surface were decomposing bodies, and not survivors. Let's scare as many people as possible, though!

The loss of life was a tragedy, but sharks eat dead stuff. It doesn't matter what kind of meat it is.

This is less important a fact, but there were actually two floating bodies when the Gulf Stream Eagle arrived. Also, the Gulf Stream Eagle were the ones who recovered two additional bodies from inside the capsized boat.

3. Riviera Beach dive boat finds bodies in overturned vessel in Bahamas (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Actually, this one seemed to be the closest, as told from the point of view of the Gulf Stream Eagle.

All of the articles seemed to have picked up the "two 12-foot tiger sharks" part, but this was probably something that was related via interview. People always say sharks are bigger than they really were, and it was true in this case as well.

Every time I know the inside story, I trust the media less.