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SYLLY: Shark Week 31 Night 3: Catch up night

Last year on Shark Week…… It can’t all be brand new stuff. Night 3 was all about catching up on or improvising something from last year. Or in the case of Any Air Jaws episode the last 20 years.

Sharkwrecked: Crash Landing

Last year Paul DeGelder and James Glancy did an experiment to see if they could survive in the open ocean like the survivors of the USS Indianapolis. This year Paul DeGelder and James Glancy did an experiment to see if they could survive in the open ocean like the downed pilots of WWII.

Neither experiment was truly anything like what the survivors had to deal with. The pilots and seamen didn’t have a monitor boat with handy floatation devices and fresh water and medical supplies. They also didn’t have cameras above and below them warning them when sharks were around. That handy life raft they slept in, survivors didn’t have that either.
They did this year’s experiment off the remote Pacific island of Palau in the world’s first shark sanctuary and the sight of many WWII battles. Last year they lasted 43 hours. This year they said 3 days and 2 nights. The sharks featured in this episode were tigers, bulls, grey reefs, silky, and white tips.

This episode taught absolutely nothing.  Just two guys hanging out in the middle of nowhere. They eventually got to shore and still nothing was learned. At least they didn’t blow up a boat this year.

Laws of Jaws: Dangerous Waters

This is another adaptation from last year but with new attack scenarios. This episode aired with a disclaimer. “The following presentation has experiments with sharks done with proper medical supervision. These experiments showcase the most extreme scenarios of shark encounters, which is a rare event. Shark attacks are even more rare. Under no circumstances should you attempt these experiments.” Paul DeGelder, Nick LeBeouf, Mike Dornellas, and Jamin Martinelli put themselves in danger recreating attack scenarios from the past year. Most shark attacks happen because of human behavior. These recreations show if people had reacted differently they may not have been injured.

#1 Can sharks really smell a drop of blood in an Olympic sized pool? And will sharks attack when they smell human blood?

This was easy, they spilled human blood near tiger sharks and they ignored it completely. They spilled fish blood and it brought all the sharks to the yard in seconds. So we are not high on their snack lists.

#2 Paddle boarding has become very popular and people are going further and further out. If you fall or get knocked off your paddle board near a shark what should you do?

Keep your cool and don’t make splashes, that will attract them. Keep hold of your paddle to have an object to direct them away from you and to keep between you and the shark. Gently get back on your board and lay low.

#3 Can sharks detect electronics and should you leave them on shore?

The only device that got noticed was a camera with a really bright flash and a tiger shark tried to take it away.

#4 How can you keep yourself safe on tourist shark dives with little to no instructions?

Refrain from reaching out with your limbs. Keep an object between you and the shark. If you must use your hands to fend off a shark push down on the top of their head or touch their gills.#5 Spear fishing.

There is nothing safe about spear fishing. The motion of the spear attracts sharks. Any injured fish will attract sharks. This is just not a good idea.

These researchers were in genuine danger for this episode. They described it as “worth the risk” to educate people on how human behavior can trigger an attack and that humans need to learn how to behave in the water to keep themselves safe.

Air Jaws: Strikes Back

Chris Fallows and Neil Hammerschlag have been filming great white sharks breeching for 20 years now. Until in 2017 all the great white sharks of Seal Island in Mossel Bay disappeared because orcas were hunting and killing them so they moved on and most have not come back. There are a few and Fallows is making them jump.

This year Fallows and Hammerschlag recruit Andy Casagrande and Dr. Enrico Gennari to help them find sharks to make jump. They find some juvenile great whites hunting seals in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The sharks are hunting seals within just a few feet of shore so it’s too shallow to breech here. The seals definitely have the advantage in this new location. Mr. Casagrande and Dr. Gennari actually got into the water with the seals and didn’t know a great white was stalking them. The drone camera caught the seals trying to warn the divers and even driving the shark off protecting the divers. Finally they caught a juvenile great white shark breeching the water just a few feet from shore, nearly beaching itself to catch a seal.

You can’t have Air Jaws without Chris Fallows dragging out a decoy and making a shark expend it’s precious energy trying to catch something it can’t eat. So back to Mossel Bay with a decoy being towed by a drone this year. They got the breech and he proclaimed Air Jaws was back. But not really because they have moved on.

It’s always good to keep up to date with new shark technology and discoveries. Being educated on how to survive a shark encounter is always a good bit of knowledge to have. Air Jaws has been done to death and they need to find something new. They keep telling us how precious a shark’s energy is and they need to conserve it until they get a large meal or they will die, then the make them chase a decoy and breech into the air to catch something that only cost them precious energy. :: shrugs :: The sharks were still beautiful to watch. #sharklivesmatter

Tonight’s programming begins at 8 p.m. with Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark. And the “first ever” Shark Week original scripted movie Capsized: Blood in the Water

Sylvia Papineau is an Arcade resident and self-proclaimed Shark Week 'finatic.' Watch All WNY News all week for her take on Shark Week 2019 specials. 

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