PETER HUGHES DIVING INC: THE WAVE DANCER DEATHS

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The sharks are fed but not "chummed"...

Ken Elkins - Instructor/Captain

May 15, 2003 15:25:25

Mrs. Mars, and all other family members of the Wave Dancer victims, please know that you all do have my deepest sympathy for your loss. And, that any comments I may make in this forum are based upon my own experiences, which are considerable, in Turks and Caicos and French Key.

I will repeat that I personally have never seen anyone CHUM (a large bloody mixture of mostly fish, sometimes meat and chicken) for sharks anywhere in the Turks and Caicos Islands . . . especially French Key.

Biologically safe food residue (scraps) are routinely fed to the fish between dives. This is not done to attract sharks.  Guests and crew alike often throw their scraps over the side after a meal to see the schools of fish race for the items.

In French Key the sharks are circling below the boat by the time the boat is safely moored. There is no reason to CHUM for sharks there.

I am not saying that someone from the crew of the Sea Dancer did not throw food in the water but there is a big difference between scraps and CHUM. You know CHUM when you see it. It is messy, stinks and has a very large quantity of blood.

As far as silencing the other guests, "Gee Ken, I wonder who would have done that?", you suggest that the other guests are more concerned about money or a free trip than they are about being honest. I would be very offended if I were one of them.  My experience with hundreds if not thousands of guests has shown that they are very honest in matters like this.

May GOD bless you and yours.

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