By Luke Kenton
This vigilant diver intervened in the nick of time, stepping in the prevent a potential shark attack after a fellow diver made the fatal error of turning his back on the creature.
Conducting a tour of Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, diving instructor Eli Martinez had come to the end of his session when fellow diver, Joe Wong, began retreating back to the boat.
Still surrounded by a number of hefty tiger sharks, inexplicably Joe abandons basic shark-diving practice by turning his back on one of the 1000-pound beasts – named Hook – who makes an opportunistic swoop towards him, jaws agape.
Selflessly launching himself into the shark’s path, Eli grabs Hook by the nose and pushes her away from Joe, preventing a potentially fatal incident.
Now using the footage of the encounter as a training video for divers, Eli, whose heroics were originally filmed in 2014 but recently uploaded to social media following the release of the training video, said: “I have known Hook for 10 years.
“It is unwise to turn your back to a tiger shark, because they know when divers are looking and when they are not.
“They tend to approach divers closer that are not looking.
“Tigers by nature are ambush predators and it is just an instinctual response for them.
“Hook may have just swum up to Joe, bumped his fins and then swam off.
“Or she could have tried to bite him.
“Those are chances that I, as a safety diver with people under my care, am not willing to take.
“Had I been further away and unable to intervene, then I would have been worried about what was happening.”