View Full Version : Sharkman on Animal Planet

08-09-2007, 09:18 PM
Oh man is this guy brave!

The program shows him free-diving and swimming with every species of shark with the first two-hour premier episode having him take a 75 foot ride on the back of a great white shark!

He touches their snouts or sides of their faces (both sides at the same time) to make the females roll over and take on a catatonic state and then they just sink. It's pleasurable for the sharks so they come back (gently) for more.

This is after he "chums" the water and then jumps in with a lot of sharks.

It makes me rethink a lot of my fears about them, growing up with the ocean as I did (but you can't see what's under you when you're on a surfboard).

Anyway, it makes you just stare at these creatures in awe and wonder. Every other shark program has some guy in a cage poking at them or dropping fiberglass seals in the water and towing them behind a boat until they're attacked.

This program was really different. I think it could be one of the greatest tests of courage to free-swim with sharks (he had SCUBA gear on some of the time, but used a snorkel at other points). I think he could have stayed with the great white longer had he an oxygen source but he had to surface to breath.

Crazy enough, he gets right in front of the shark's jaws to grip them on either side of their head. He attempted this with 10 footers to a 15 foot great white (Jaws in the movie was supposedly 25 ft I think). So that's a big and powerful shark.

It seems the females are receptive to this behavior.

Man this guy is brave!

(I think he's South African - he talks with that accent that's not quite English or Australian).

Anyway, this is the most amazing show I've watched in a while.

08-10-2007, 04:45 AM
The info I had that this man, Michael Rutzen, was killed by a shark attack is incorrect.

He is in fact alive and running a shark diving tour company and is probably the world's most premier expert to go in the water with. Tourists likely stay in the cage however.

Man this guy is brave.

He is an ex-fisherman actually, not a scientist by formal education. But he seems to have learned more than any of the experts have actually. I'm very impressed with him.

08-10-2007, 04:52 AM
When I read your first post, all I could think of was "Steve Irwin".

Whether this guy is living or not, it seems it's just a matter of time. :dead:

08-10-2007, 05:11 AM
Google Michael Rutzen and watch the YouTube videos that come up. This guy is amazing!

08-16-2007, 06:06 PM
He is South African and lives in a coastal town Gansbaai (bay of geese) on the southwestern tip of Africa. He is one of the world leaders in white shark behaviour and is definitely not reckless I don't know witch clip you have seen but in one of his movies he has actually opened the mouth of a white shark while free diving with the beast. This stunt took all of 5 years to prepare and one winters day everything just fell into place. This is not something that he will ever repeat but it was done to show the people that these animals are not the "Jaws" monsters that they have been labeled. I know him well enough to say that he is genuinely passionate about all sharks not only great whites and is actively involved with them to promote conservation and education. As you have rightly commented he is not a university educated scientist but at the moment he teaches the marine biologists about sharks. If you have seen this guy operate you would agree that the chances of him being bitten is remote and that he has a better chance of coming unstuck in a boating accident the area is not called the cape of storms for nothing.


08-16-2007, 06:18 PM
I have watched probably all the YouTube videos I can find about Michael Rutzen and his Animal Planet appearance too, of course.

He's now one of my newest heroes! Some day I'd like to fly down there and take a dive on his tour program. I'll really have to gather up a lot more courage, but I think I'd trust Rutzen more than anyone else to go on that kind of dive with (though I think he even said on his show that he makes it look easier than it is).

08-26-2007, 06:41 PM
Have a look at his company website www sharkdivingunlimited.co.za