Shark fans speak out
Being an Ocean Special means issue 61 of NG Kids is packed with watery wonders – including the low down on sharks. Check out two of their biggest fans...
You’d think that a nasty nip would be enough to put you off sharks for life. But for James Elliott, from Blackpool, Lancashire, a shark attack just 15 metres off the Egyptian beach, where he was on holiday last year, turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
“I can’t say I’d thought twice about sharks before I was bitten on the leg by what I’m pretty sure was a mako shark. It pulled me under the water but I managed to kick it hard enough for it to let me go,” he remembers. Now James is one of nine attack survivors from all over the world who campaign with the PEW Environment Group for sharks to be protected. And that’s not all. Says James, “I want to swim with great whites one day!”
Fifteen years ago, an unexpected encounter with a hammerhead shark in Hawaii, USA, changed keen scuba diver Julie Andersen’s life for good. ‘Like so many people, I thought sharks were terrifying, and my heart nearly stopped!,’ she says. ‘But I was captivated by this beautiful, graceful animal that was just an arm’s length away. Soon afterwards, I quit my job in Chicago so I could work to help more people understand that sharks are not vicious maneaters, and that in fact, they need protecting from us. I’ve dived all over the world with the species of sharks thought to be the most dangerous, and the only frightening experiences I’ve had have been seeing the number of animals killed by fishing, and shark nets.’
Click here to find out more about these fin-tastic fishy friends!
Julie Andersen photo: Eric Cheng
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