Blue shark snorkelling guide
Advice for all:
Preferably go with an experienced operator. Swimming with blue sharks is not for the inexperienced skipper, guide or snorkeler - things can go wrong very quickly.
For the operator:
1.Ensure you carry out a detailed briefing including:
What to wear - full wetsuit including: boots, gloves and hood in dark colours with no white or shiny equipment, tape over stainless steel buckles, reflective patches and acrylic camera housings etc.
Entry and exit from the boat and any hazards, avoid jumping in and making a huge splash.
What to expect and how to react, sharks may come very close, stay calm.
Keep arms in close to the body, regularly observe 360 degrees.
No touching, avoid vigorous movements, avoid splashing around with fins, no feeding or getting near to the chum and slick.
What to do if you get bumped or feel uncomfortable.
2. Keep any feed to an absolute minimum, preferably stick to just chum.
3. Keep a good eye on the sharks and their behaviour, as soon as snorkelers get nudged it’s time to get them out. Sharks should remain calm and slow moving at all times.
4. Keep an eye on the snorkelers and ensure they don’t get close to the chum and slick.
5. Preferably two snorkelers in the water at any one time with a maximum of three to four snorkelers.
6. Ensure that there is a clear and uninterupted path for the sharks approaching from downstream in the slick to the chum at all times and snorkelers are not in that area.
For the snorkeler:
1. Wear a darkly coloured wetsuit, gloves, hood, boots, mask, fins and snorkel.
2. Avoid anything white and/or shiny.
3. Enter the water gently and move with slow movements.
4. Avoid splashing (especially with your fins) and rapid movements with your arms and hands.
5. Keep arms close to your body.
6. Do not touch the sharks.
7. If you feel uncomfortable, lie on your back arms across your chest and fin steadily back to the boat without splashing.
8. Preferably mount cameras on poles and do not hand hold acrylic camera housings.
9. Avoid the chum container by at least five metres and remain out of the chum slick.
10. Keep a good look out, sharks have a habit of coming at you from behind.
This guide is simply advice, it is not a legal document and in no way is definitive - it is just what I have found works to safely snorkel with blue sharks from over 10 years and 1000 sharks seen. Please use common sense and make your own judgement whether it is safe to enter the water.