Remember Scott Cassell, the
crazy person SCUBA diver who was going to swim from Catalina to San Pedro, underwater, while attempting to attract sharks?
On September 17, 2011 Scott Cassell completed his dive from Catalina Island to the beach in front of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. California Diver Magazine reported the following;
“At 6:15 PM Saturday, September 17, 2011, Scott Cassell arrived safely at Cabrillo Aquarium Beach in San Pedro Harbor after covering 30 miles in a single day of diving. He maintained an average depth of 20 – 30 from the water’s surface.
Using a computer controlled mixed gas rebreather, a DUI drysuit with an argon inflation system, 4th Element Halo 3D thermal protection, and dual Luminox dive watches, he completed the distance in less than 12 hours, after some technical issues delayed the planned 4:00 AM start time by several hours.
Scott’s journey was filmed by Global Reef to help raise awareness regarding the alarming state of our oceans. One of his primary missions during the dive was to attract as many sharks as possible to obtain an accurate estimate of how many sharks are still present in the area today.
Sadly, at an interview on the beach just after surfacing, he said he didn’t see a single shark over the 30 miles he covered. ‘I saw 3 Mola Mola, 4 Sea lions, about 6 Dolphins and a huge school of sardines. But I didn’t see a single shark – and that breaks my heart. It’s absolutely a tragedy.’
Scott then reflected on his dives back in the 1980’s and 90’s, where he would often swim with 60 or more sharks on a single dive. Currently, it is estimated sharks are slaughtered at a rate of about 100 million a year worldwide – more than 200,000 sharks a day.
After answering questions about his incredible dive, Scott elaborated on the state of our oceans. ‘Unfortunately, I’m the generation that has seen the ocean start to die. It’s a reality. And not understanding this is not okay anymore. We need to think and be a good, responsible culture.’
‘We’ve only explored 0.5% of the ocean habitat – over 99% of the ocean is left to be explored. That’s encouraging, inspiring – and frightening. Because if we have systems failing in the ocean, and we don’t understand how these systems work, how are we going to fix them’? California Diver Magazine will provide more in-depth coverage of the dive in a future issue.”
I just feel terrible for the guy. To go to all the trouble of attracting sharks, and then have to settle for a few measly Mola Mola… who do those sharks think they are, anyway?
The Shark Research Committee, incidentally, is one of those websites I sort of wish I didn’t discover…