CDWS shark incident update: diving possible tomorrow in Sharm el Sheikh
6 December 2010 14:00
The majority of areas in Sharm el Sheikh will be open to diving activities for CDWS members and their clients tomorrow (7 December), however, please note a series of restrictions apply on where these can take place and on client experience. All snorkel activities and other watersports - with the exception of glass bottom boat operations - remain suspended in the whole of the Sharm el Sheikh coastal area.
Qualified diving clients, who must have a minimum of 50 logged dives, are permitted to participate in scuba activities run by CDWS members in the areas of Tiran and all sites south of Naama Bay. Diving remains completely banned at this time in the area between Ras Nasrani to the north of Naama Bay where the Ras Mohammed National Park teams are currently working.
Under NO circumstances are introductory or training dives permitted to take place in the sea anywhere in Sharm el Sheikh until CDWS members are notified otherwise.
Following discussions with sharks experts and a series of exploratory dives, it was decided that the areas to be opened, which include the Ras Mohammed National Park and popular sites such as the Thistlegorm, were safe for experienced diving activities. CDWS would like to make it clear that no divers have been involved in any of the incidents reported.
CDWS is working with four world-renowned shark experts at this time. Three of the experts will be arriving over the next two days in Sharm el Sheikh to form an advisory team to try to assess and advise on the best course of action following the four shark attacks in areas north of Naama Bay this week.
Dr George H Burgess, the director of the Florida Program and curator of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History for Shark Research, is flying to the resort today. Arriving tomorrow are: Dr Marie Levine, head of the Shark Research Institute in Princeton, USA, and Dr Ralph Collier, of the Shark Research Committee and author of Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century. Shark behavioural expert Dr Erich Ritter is assisting from his research centre based in the USA. The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is funding all the costs involved.
A Swedish research vessel is currently surveying the topography of the ocean around Sharm el Sheikh in order to supply data to shark experts to assist their work. CDWS enlisted the help of this vessel to carry out the topography survey and secured all the relevant permissions.
CDWS would like to assure all members that the organisation is working continuously with all the relevant authorities and shark experts to try to resolve this situation in the most appropriate and safe way for all concerned. The CDWS also stresses to all members and the public that it does not in any way condone the random killing of sharks.