I don't consider myself to be a coward, but there are still certain things I don't think I would ever do. I don't think I'll ever go sky diving, or climb Everest, or swim with a shark. Yes, I know that only about four people a year die from a shark attack but I still don't like those odds. I'm sure that if I were ever to see a shark in pain I would just say, "Well, that is just nature at work" and swim away.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are people out there who are braver and more empathetic than me. Diving instructor Bret Johnson recently saved a shark with a 12-inch knife sticking out his head that was found swimming near a reef in the Cayman Islands. While the idea of a shark getting in a knife fight is a scary thought to most of us, Johnson doesn't see it that way. "Obviously something wasn’t right and I moved in for a closer look," he said.
When he got there something pretty incredible happened. According to Johnson, "At that point, the shark turned around and settled right below me as if asking for help." And help he did. Johnson removed the knife from the shark who then swam off like nothing happened despite having a knife wound in his head.
Someone was around to record this moment on film.
Johnson think the shark was a nurse shark, a particularly docile and slow-moving member of the shark family, and one that is incredibly important to the local ecosystem. In fact, they are so vital that the Cayman outlawed shark hunting in 2015. Anyone caught harming a shark faces up to four years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Fortunately, this particular shark is still around doing his job for the local ecosystem. The Cayman Brac Beach Resorts saying in a Facebook post that "the shark seems to be doing all right and we even spotted him again swimming around the same reef."
While we still don't advice swimming near sharks, it is good to hear it all worked out this time.