The former head of the National Geographic Society, Michael Crichton, says that it’s hard to believe that in the early days of Catalinas diving industry, people thought that there was anything more than a few men in their 20s who were out there in the ocean to dive.
“I’m going to put it this way,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
“They would come in, they would dive for a while, then go back out.
I mean, it’s a little hard to imagine a world where that’s not the case.”
“We knew that there were sharks and it was a matter of knowing how to handle them,” said Crichten, who founded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1973 with his wife, Margaret, after working for decades at the Smithsonian Institution.
The world’s oceans were not fully understood when Crichts group started studying sharks and dolphins in the 1970s.
Crichtons first exposure to sharks came in 1976 while working as a cameraman on a TV special for National Geographic Channel.
He and his cameraman colleague, Roger Smith, were on a dive in a remote area of the Bahamas when they were startled by the sound of a loud splash.
Smith told Crichtin that the sound was the splash of a large fish that was swimming nearby.
“It’s the same sound as when you hear the ocean,” Crichte told CNN in the interview.
“So, that’s what we heard and it startled us a little bit.
It was a very, very loud splash.”
Crich, who had been working for National Geography at the time, took off his diving mask and took off in a dive.
He was immediately startled when he saw what appeared to be a shark swimming in front of him.
“The splash was so loud it was like an electric shock,” Critchton said.
“And it’s not like a normal splash.
It sounded like a huge, loud splash, and we could not get our gear out of our line of sight.
And it was just that loud.”
Cratchton said he thought he saw something in the water that would scare him, but he didn’t know what.
“We just kind of went, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this,'” Crichmon said.
But the sound wasn’t quite as loud as he had imagined.
“At that time, the world was just starting to realize the significance of sharks,” Criche said.
The two of them got into a dive with the help of a divers team, who used a mask that could not be removed for a couple of minutes.
As they got closer to the shore, they heard the shark splash, but Crichson said that his reaction was more fear.
“My reaction was, ‘Oh, my god, that is a shark!'” he recalled.
“In my mind, I was, like, ‘Why would a shark just come right in there and not dive?’
And then it hit me that there must have been a way to deal with this shark.”
The two men tried to get a hold of a shark and then they saw a large one swim up in the sea and begin to attack the men.
“That’s when I thought, ‘I’ve got to get out of here,'” Critchmon said, recalling that his wife was crying.
Cratchon’s wife tried to help, but they were not able to get close enough to the shark.
They began to worry, and eventually the pair decided to dive out.
The men decided to take a dip in the shallow waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is a deep and dangerous place to dive, said Criche.
They were unable to get back in the boat and then a nearby helicopter came to pick them up.
Cridge said that the helicopter was a “good friend” of his.
But it took about 30 minutes to get them back to the boat.
In a press release, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) said that when the team arrived at the boat they found that the men were alive and were still being treated for their injuries.
They said they will remain in the hospital for several weeks.
“Our team is grateful for the efforts of the RNFS, Marine Life Response, and the Catalines family to care for our two divers and the other injured divers,” the press release said.
Crichemon was released from the hospital Wednesday and will be on a waiting list to return to work.
“But I have to tell you,” he told CNN, “that was the most terrifying day of my life.”
In a statement, the RNF said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the incident.
“NHS is working closely with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to ensure the safety of the Catalynas divers and their families