By Nelson Groom
This blood-curdling clip might look like a scene straight out of the film ‘Sharknado’ but it is actually the moment divers got trapped in a spiraling swarm of 80 SHARKS.
Engineer Troy Iloski, 50, was exploring shipwrecks on a Bahamas seabed when dozens of the beady-eyed predators started circling above the group, forming an underwater vortex.
Part-time scuba instructor Troy’s terrifying footage of the close encounter could easily have been shot as part of the popular horror film series where sharks get swept up in cyclones and wreak destruction.
The engineer, of New Jersey, USA, had never faced anything quite like it in three decades of diving but Troy said the group had to keep their cool to escape the 20-metre depths unscathed.
Troy, who was among a group of veteran divers on the Caribbean expedition, said: “We were just coming out of one of the shipwrecks when they suddenly popped out all over the place – a vortex of sharks.
“It’s quite unique. This area is rich in many different breeds and I’ve dived here hundreds of times but I’ve never seen anywhere near this many.
“You need to keep calm, because they detect fear. If you panic and swim away they will come for you so you need to act like a predator. It’s no amateur dive.
“Caribbean reef sharks are not as powerful as great whites but they do hunt in packs like wolves.
“They can easily take a bite out of you then the others will pick up the scent of the blood and ambush.”
Troy suspects the sharks may have been drawing prey out of hiding in the nearby Ray of Hope shipwreck by barrelling around it in a feeding frenzy.
The 60-metre long freighter sits upright in turquoise waters, allowing divers to delve inside its glimmering cabins – but they might not be the only ones.
Stingrays, snappers and gropers seek shelter in the rusty hulk to avoid falling prey to the large populations of sharks lurking in the depths.
But the divers had a more hands-on approach – hypnotising the predators by rubbing their noses.
Troy said: “In the footage, you can see one of the guys lure the shark over with bait then employ a relaxability technique. It’s like a massage on their nose.
“It is a research technique that puts them in a trance-like state that allows for a closer examination.”
Macedonian-born Troy began his love affair with diving at the age of 16 and has since descended thousands of times into the deep – and he has no plans of giving up soon.
Troy said: “When I’m not working, I’m diving. I do it as much as possible. Nothing compares to the Caribbean islands though. There’s just no match for the marine life.”