Summer of the SharkK Channel 13 News Segment Repeats Tonight-10:30 PM LA

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Posted by Jim Morris on August 11, 2001 at 11:29:30:

Summer of the Shark

They rule the ocean. Down here...sharks sit proudly on top of the food chain. A fish in the wrong place at the wrong time becomes lunch. And, on the think you're far away from all that under-water danger. But every once in awhile...we find out the hard way... sharks don't mind coming close to shore.
Shark attacks have been on the rise for several years. And some are calling this year the Summer of the Shark.

Remember this eight year old boy? Just last month ...this bull shark attacked him... ripping into his thigh, then biting off his arm. He's not alone. Dozens of others like him have ended-up in the emergency room. Some escape with just eerie souvenirs ...half bitten surf boards and nasty scars.. like this surfer attacked by a Great White off the coast of Australia.

It's enough to make even experienced divers like Jim Morris a little nervous. "I’ve dove in shark infested waters off of Los Angeles and you are always thinking about that Great White shark."

That's why Morris is risking his life to find a way to keep sharks at a safe distance. In the deep waters off Santa Catalina Island and in The Bahamas...Morris has experimented with a device called "shark pod." It sends out an electrical field that actually repels sharks.

“And the shark comes into contact with that field. It senses it and turns away unharmed." If you find that hard to believe.. just take a look. As you can see..Morris is surrounded by these Caribbean reef sharks: one wrong move could end in a vicious attack.

“It's a pretty scary situation, intimidating." But watch what happens when Morris ...on the left... turns "shark-pod" on coincidence? You be the judge; even groups of sharks seem to be scared away when Morris flips the shark pod switch despite being lured by the smell of a fresh cut of fish ..."shark pod" seems to work.

“There are people from the jaws phenomenon who can't get that shark out of their minds when they enter the ocean realm."

"But this kind of technology could perhaps put their minds at ease and they might enter and actually interact with the ocean realm. This little lightweight device is called shark safe. It was manufactured in Australia. It's basically a smaller version (of this one here). But it's got some commercial potential. This could be worn by surfers, by swimmers, by anyone really who's going to venture out into the ocean where they might encounter a shark."

Morris has put "shark safe" to the test as well, just like "shark pod" seems to scare these predators off. Morris hopes the new technology will replace the massive nets used in some beaches.

That would end the “gruesome” slaughter of sharks, dolphins, and other marine life caught in the nets. At the same time won't have to worry about shark attacks.

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