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HomeFreedivingDiver hitches a ride on a Great White Shark

Diver hitches a ride on a Great White Shark

Since theattack in the Bahamas on Markus Groh, much media focus and attention has beenseen on the behavioural characteristics on sharks. has a report written by Paul Eccleston showing a diver fromCape Town, South Africa, hitching a ride on the back of the fin of a GreatWhite Shark (Carcharodon carcharias), as displayed in this photograph. The shark diver in question is a Michael Rutzen, who regularly swims and alsoclaims to socialise with these large animals. He has allegedly claimedthat the sharks see him as a “fellow ocean traveller”.

MrRutzen owns a company in South Africa called Shark Diving Unlimited, andspecialises in cage diving for tourists to view the sharks underwater. After years of diving with sharks Rutzen has left the cage and has startedfreediving with the sharks, saying that he has learnt their body language and knowswhen to approach them and when to stay away.

Mr Rutzenappears in a documentary called Sharkman, which will be screened on Britishtelevision Channel 5 at 9pm Thursday 28th Feb andrepeated Sunday 2nd March at 7pm.

InSharkman Rutzen hopes to change attitudes by revealing sensitivity to thephenomenon called ‘tonic immobility’ when a shark falls into a kind of hypnotictrance after being inverted or touched on its head in a particular way.

Hetests his theories and technique on smaller lemon sharks and reef sharks in theCaribbean before moving on to larger and more dangerous tiger sharks off thecoast of Mozambique.

Hisambition is to do the same to a great white shark and live to tell the tale.


Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for She is based in Dubai.