We may never fully know what really triggered the accident series in Sharm 2010 but I truly believe that only food is as strong a trigger that can cause these types of bites on a single person: multiple, applied with different jaw pressures and motivations. One victim only had a single wound (exploratory bite) and does not fit the general pattern, but considering the overall series, this incident was part of the entire scenario. Sometimes a second or third bite is caused due to the action / reaction a person takes when an encounter occurs.
Here some answers to the most common asked questions (new questions / answers will be added in further news non this site):
1) Was one shark responsible for all the accidents? No, because different wound sizes were visible.
2) Was there a Mako shark involved? There is one picture that showed a wound that would fit the Mako on the picture, but there was an oceanic seen at the same time. So my money is not really on the Mako but I can't exclude it.
3) Were oceanic whitetip sharks involved? Yes, based on the wound structures.
4) What size of sharks were involved? Around 2m for the first four victim. The size of the shark that bite the last victim was larger.
5) Were the shark(s) crazy or hindered in any other way to hunt normal? No, these type of wounds - although rare - are pretty normal when competition or stress is a bite motivation.
6) Could overfishing has drawn these sharks into shore areas? Possible, but not very likely, otherwise we would keep seeing large sharks in the area.
7) Did the snorkelers something wrong? Hard to say but at least three of the five victims must have seen the shark(s) prior to the bites. It is very likely that they reacted rather harsh when the shark(s) came closer and triggered the first bite.
8) Did the sharks want to eat the person? Definitely not, no shark wants to eat people. Even losing a hand is not an indication that a shark wants do feed on the later victim. At least two of the hands that were bitten off clearly showed conical wounds. These wounds can only occur when a person is able (or tries) to pull a limb out of a mouth while that shark keeps holding onto and it then gets separated due to the person’s pull but not (!) because the shark increases its jaw pressure, or because a shark tried to bite a limb off in the first place.
9) Is CDWS taking procative action now? Yes. We are in discussion to teach the local lifeguards how to act / react among sharks, interfere when a scenario happens, how to educate their swimmers / beachgoers etc... I suggested to the authorities a similar approach we use here in the US with our lifeguards.
10) Any spots less safe than other to snorkel in Sharm? Definitely but we first have to mark the spots where the likelihood of shark presence is increased due to bottom structure, current...
11) Would fishing for sharks be a solution to reduce the risk? Definitely not. Killing animals is never a solution when humans cause the scenarios.
Wouldn’t nets be the best solution? No, too many animals get constantly caught in nets that are already in place elsewhere. Putting up nets would send out a bad message. It is not the shark that is dangerous - it is the situations humans create.
12) Is there such a thing as a rogue shark? Although shark accident history points out that these animals exist, there is no clear proof of it.
13) More to come...