Russian Shark Attacks

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Shark News

I’ve been doing some reading on the Russian Shark attacks, and basically this is what I’ve come up with. 2 guys were attacked within 24 hour of each other, and the location of the attacks are approximately 30 miles apart. The Attacks took place in the area of Khasan, near the border with North Korea.

The first to be attacked was Denis Udovenko, a 25-year-old who out was swimming with his wife, Polina. They decided to swim to a small rock formation known locally as Yearning Heart Island.  On the way Denis apparently saw something in the water and shouted to his wife that there was a Shark and that she must swim faster, he then (and i quote) “stopped and grabbed the shark’s snout to protect his partner. He beat it on the nose, and it dragged him up and then down,” she said. “Then it threw him up on the surface.” (one report which uses almost exactly the same wording says “The man was injured as he tried to rescue his wife, who was first attacked by the shark.” However i can find no reports of her being injured). This man subsequently lost both arms (Some reports say hands) in the attack. He survived however, and as stated by a Health Service Spokesman “His Life is not in Danger”

There are far fewer details on the Second attack, All we know is that the person who was bitten is Valery Sidorovich, a 16-year-old, who was bitten on the legs, and apparently they removed tooth fragments from the wounds during surgery. He is recovering well according to reports. The Shark being suspected of both attacks is the Great White.

We now move onto the action that the Russian Government is taking, there were articles all over the net claiming that “open season on Sharks has begun” however in none of those reports is there any mention of boats actually being launched, or any sharks caught. They do mention however that the Russians will be asking the Japanese to get involved since they have more expertise and more specialised equipment for Shark catching (as if we didn’t know this already). The Russian Government has however decided to do further research before launching a full-scale attack on shark kind, which is slightly comforting, and have also decided that educating the public about the dangers of the ocean would be a good place to start. They have also closed the beaches in the area (One report says that the public have been requested to stay out of the water along Russia’s 1’300 km pacific coastline) Which is probably rather dramatic, but from a Shark conservation stand point not a bad decision, because the way t seems to me, all it needs is one more incident and the Shark hunt would begin, so fewer people in the water means less chance of an incident, and that means the Sharks are safer.

Now i would just like to put my 5 cents worth in when it comes to the first attack. The facts we have are they were swimming to an Island, He saw a Shark, Warned his wife, then “wrestled” with the Shark, and had his Hands/arms removed. Now I’m sorry, but if i were a Sharks, swimming along looking for food, i then hear a bunch of splashing, come up to the cause of the ruckus out of curiosity, and then before i can decide if i want to leave it alone of go in for a closer look, i get my snout grabbed and beaten, i am going to fight back a little. So that can’t really be classified as an “Attack” in my book, more a reaction, or self-defence, but certainly not an attack.

When it comes to the second Incident however, things are far to fuzzy to even guess what happened. I must however include the following, there was a rumor of a Third attack a day after the second, and roughly in the same area, but no confirmation has been given, or further mention been made, so it could have been a hoax, or just the media trying to fan the flames, especially since it is the first attack in that area in Recorded history…. And we all know the media loves to embellish a story…

Just to conclude. There have been 6 reported SHark Attacks in a month, 2 in Seychelles, 2 in Russia, 1 in South Africa, and 1 in Puerto Rico. This might seem high, and I’m sure on average it is, but just have a quick think, of those 6 attacks 3 were Fatal. How many people do you suppose have been in the ocean this last month? 10 Million? Maybe 100 Million? It’s not unlikely, so 3 people out of 10 Million people died due to Shark encounters, As sad as that is (and it is) that really isn’t a very High number, Especially since it has been suggested that 50% of people who enter the ocean are within close proximity to a Shark, and don’t even realise it. Now that is quite a dodgy statement to make, i do recall however a Documentary made by Chris Fallows which showed a very popular beach in South Africa, crowded with people, swimming and messing about in the waves, with at least 6 Great WHite Sharks no more that 10 meters away from them, and up until that scene was filmed, there hadn’t been an incident of Shark attack on that beach. (There has been one since then however). So as wild as that statement may seem, it is not impossible. SO that means 5 million people came into contact with sharks and never knew about it, maybe 100’000 came into contact with sharks willingly, SO out of 5.1 Million Shark encounters, 6 ended badly …. Can we seriously now go around calling it a “Trend” or as one Report was titled “The Revenge of Jaws” Or should we rather call it a freak accident….. Well, i don’t know about you, but I’m more inclined to nominate the latter.

Here’s hoping you all have a fantastic weekend, and an awesome week ahead

And remember, Sharks aren’t our Foe, mankind are theirs.

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