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Lump
June 13th, 2011, 04:17 PM
Congrats to Penny Palfrey, her coaches, and support crew on her incredible swim!!! I was following it last night online!:applaud::bow: Steve Mullatones who taught our OW Swim Clinic at SwimFest last month was right there with her as well!

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/06/14/Palfrey-crushes-world-record/

Jim B.
June 13th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Simply Amazing-68 miles, 40+ hours, 4 shark encounters.

What can you compare a performance like that to?

Lump
June 13th, 2011, 05:38 PM
What can you compare a performance like that to?

Maybe the double crossing of the Channel since that was the record before?

bjcarter
June 17th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Look, I'm not a big fan of sharks but I take exception to the term "unassisted" if someone had to be there to fend off (and in this case kill) several sharks in order for her to finish the swim. I can justify the first kill as being a life saver, maybe even the 2nd. After that, having to kill these sharks so that you can swim for a record comes across as more than just a little bit self-centered... It may be a world record but seems like a pretty morally questionable way to attain such heights. Not a fan.

E=H2O
June 17th, 2011, 11:41 AM
Does anyone know what kind of full body suit she was wearing? Definitely not a traditional Channel costume. I assume it was for the jellies.

ChrisM
June 17th, 2011, 04:04 PM
Look, I'm not a big fan of sharks but I take exception to the term "unassisted" if someone had to be there to fend off (and in this case kill) several sharks in order for her to finish the swim. I can justify the first kill as being a life saver, maybe even the 2nd. After that, having to kill these sharks so that you can swim for a record comes across as more than just a little bit self-centered... It may be a world record but seems like a pretty morally questionable way to attain such heights. Not a fan.

I'll go further and saying killing any shark, especially one as beautiful as an oceanic whitetip, so that they can complete a swim is complete BS, absent an imminent threat to life. And, if an oceanic white tip wanted to attack here, there would be little left of her to continue a swim. But I don't know the details, other than to read they were threatening her.

Isn't open water swimming a challenge of the natural elements? Temps, swell, chop, current, and yes, animals? If it wasn't safe due to temps or current, she would have been plucked from the water. If it wasn't safe due to sharks, she should have been plucked from the water.

I've dived with thousands of sharks, seeing one, let alone three, killed simply for one person's vanity sickens me.

Also Not A Fan

thewookiee
June 17th, 2011, 04:29 PM
Look, I'm not a big fan of sharks but I take exception to the term "unassisted" if someone had to be there to fend off (and in this case kill) several sharks in order for her to finish the swim. I can justify the first kill as being a life saver, maybe even the 2nd. After that, having to kill these sharks so that you can swim for a record comes across as more than just a little bit self-centered... It may be a world record but seems like a pretty morally questionable way to attain such heights. Not a fan.

:applaud:


I'll go further and saying killing any shark, especially one as beautiful as an oceanic whitetip, so that they can complete a swim is complete BS, absent an imminent threat to life. And, if an oceanic white tip wanted to attack here, there would be little left of her to continue a swim. But I don't know the details, other than to read they were threatening her.

Isn't open water swimming a challenge of the natural elements? Temps, swell, chop, current, and yes, animals? If it wasn't safe due to temps or current, she would have been plucked from the water. If it wasn't safe due to sharks, she should have been plucked from the water.

I've dived with thousands of sharks, seeing one, let alone three, killed simply for one person's vanity sickens me.

Also Not A Fan

:applaud:

E=H2O
June 17th, 2011, 06:05 PM
I think this is a subject that needs to be fully aired out & discussed in the OW & Marathon swimming community. I believe sharks should be considered as an objective risk to be weigh before a swim, just like weather, rough water conditions, jellies etc.. Unfortunately it seems that once a swim is successful, an historical precedent is set for all future swims.

ChrisM
June 17th, 2011, 06:28 PM
I think this is a subject that needs to be fully aired out & discussed in the OW & Marathon swimming community. I believe sharks should be considered as an objective risk to be weigh before a swim, just like weather, rough water conditions, jellies etc.. Unfortunately it seems that once a swim is successful, an historical precedent is set for all future swims.

100% agree. Since Steve M. was part of the crew, I'd like to hear his perspective.

nhc
June 17th, 2011, 11:26 PM
It says her face became puffy and swollen because of the long time in salty water. Haven't heard the same happening to other OW swimmers--or is there?

Rykno
June 18th, 2011, 08:20 AM
not sure about faces, but when I have been in salt water for extended periods of time my tongue and lips feel swollen

DeletedAccount
June 18th, 2011, 09:35 AM
As an open water swimmer training, racing, and coaching swimming to raise awareness for shark conservation this goes totally against the grain of my entire awareness project. From a support team of this calibre I would expect far more than during an open water marathon swim where the swimmer cannot exit the water allow a local fisherman to bait sharks, lure and hook them, and kill them with a machete (I spoke with a person who directly witnessed this taking place) in turn putting more bait in the water and further exciting and attracting any more sharks in the area.

The species caught and killed were Oceanic Whitetips (Carcharhinus longimanus) they are on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable world-wide, however their numbers are so low now in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean basin (where this swim took place) that they are listed as Critically-Endangered. There is currently an Oceanic Whitetip tagging study being conducted on Grand Cayman, fortunately none of the tagged sharks were caught - how would that have looked if a tagged, tracked, and studied animal had been killed? Fortunately all the sharks in the study are still alive and swimming in the ocean tracked via GPS.

If the sharks had wanted to eat the swimmer they had ample time during the 40+ hour swim. They didn't, because they don't. It is 2011, 36 years past JAWS - we all should know by now that sharks do not eat people. Sharks are in reality a rapidly dwindling top predator in our already threatened oceans, their numbers are pushed to the absolute limits with populations down 90% and many are in danger of extinction, including the Great White. As ocean swimmers we enter their home willingly, and they deserve our utmost respect. Nothing less, and certainly not to be senselessly and ignorantly killed in the incorrect belief that we are 'protecting' a swimmer. The media is reporting that this swimmer braved sharks; actually the sharks braved humans, and yet again did not fair well.

There are groups of dedicated people and non-profit organizations like Shark Savers (who I volunteer for and donate a percentage of my proceeds from coaching swimming) working hard to have Oceanic Whitetips (and other slow-maturing endangered species; Great Hammerhead, Bull, Tiger) rightfully protected by international law, this unfortunate incident has an upside as it is a further push to now double our efforts in getting protection for the Oceanic Whitetip in Cayman waters. In the very near future the actions by this team on these sharks will be illegal, and carry a heavy fine. I do not think very highly of people who also defend and condone these soon to be criminal actions. I saw Rob Stewart, director of SHARKWATER speak to a sold-out, standing ovation crowd just this week. As apex animals in our planet's largest ecosystem sharks are THE most important species on Earth. STOP KILLING SHARKS. From the tens of millions slaughtered for their fins for the Asian shark fin soup demand, to the 3 wastefully "disposed of" by "heroic actions" on this swim.

With the help of some awesome sponsors and supporters of my SWIMMING FAST - FOR THE SHARKS! project I am working to soon do a swim in the Cayman Islands - "Fastest Bridging of Cayman Brac to Little Cayman - For the Sharks!"

I do fully congratulate Penny Palfrey on her record-breaking swim. I followed the swim closely right until her edge-of-your-seat finish, admire her incredible record-setting feat, and she is nothing short of an inspiration to us all.

FINS UP!
Todd

DeletedAccount
June 18th, 2011, 10:25 AM
You can read the response from Chris Palfrey, Penny's husband, and Steven Munatones here: http://bushwarriors.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/update-palfreys-husband-talks-to-bush-warriors-about-slaughter-of-critically-endangered-sharks-during-record-breaking-swim/

Todd

bjcarter
June 18th, 2011, 11:36 AM
After reading that I'm still not sure what happened... Still, the only reasonable conclusion I can come to is if the shark behavior appeared to put the swimmer's well-being at risk, that swimmer should have been pulled. Like anyone here, I love a good swim story. The Farralone Relay comes to mind. This one simply sounds really suspicious...

KatieK
June 18th, 2011, 12:16 PM
You can read the response from Chris Palfrey, Penny's husband, and Steven Munatones here: http://bushwarriors.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/update-palfreys-husband-talks-to-bush-warriors-about-slaughter-of-critically-endangered-sharks-during-record-breaking-swim/

Todd

Not a fan either. Less so after reading the response.

E=H2O
June 18th, 2011, 03:55 PM
I am waiting for Mr. Ebanks to come forward and tell us what happened. He appears to have disappeared on the issue and left it for Chris & Penny to respond to these allegations. I think it time for him to speak up and address the criticism since he is the one implicated in the controversy. If I remember what I read, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, is the Director of the Cayman Islands Department of Environment. I believe that agency would have jurisdiction over the matter. (However, I could be completely wrong on this issue). I don't know how common the name Ebanks is, but if there was baiting she might be be responsible for bringing up the matter for review.

thewookiee
June 19th, 2011, 07:37 AM
... and she is nothing short of an inspiration to us all.

FINS UP!
Todd

Not to me. If the sharks are on the endangered list, she should have been yanked from the water if they were that big of a threat.

KatieK
June 19th, 2011, 09:40 AM
This is (sort of) a response from Steve Munatones.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheDailyNewsOfOpenWaterSwimming/~3/AwYc1b27RIs/oh-to-be-young-in-open-water-world.html

Kevin in MD
June 19th, 2011, 10:19 AM
It says her face became puffy and swollen because of the long time in salty water. Haven't heard the same happening to other OW swimmers--or is there?

Very common, the most striking evidence I have seen is in the book winds waves and sunburn with before and after pictures of a couple of ladies whose faces swole up significantly during races.

orca1946
June 20th, 2011, 10:10 AM
If a swimmer is in death/injury danger & should be pull/stopped - then shark attach seems to fit! We do not allow a wall to stop waves or jellies to be put around swimmers !

COWSwimmer
June 20th, 2011, 04:17 PM
I am thinking this is all a really bad rumor. Steven Munatones, who was on the boat the entire time with penny, will say, unequivocally, that no sharks were killed, no machetes used.
_Karah Friberg

ChrisM
June 20th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Like others, these "official responses" don't make me feel any better. In fact, it sounds like Steve M. is saying "of the millions of sharks killed per year, what is three more when she did a swim like that"? At least that's how I am reading it. I understand Steve has some conflicting loyalties, but I would hope that we don't allow behavior like this to continue solely to promote this sport (which frankly, is fringe, and always will be). I think as others the issue of what is acceptable minimizing of risk is acceptable should be an open topic for discussion.

And the husband: "We, and many other swimmers, are more conservation minded than most people and do not condone the harming of any wildlife, regardless of what it is. Ummmmm, yes, actually you did condone the killing of these sharks for your wife's glory.

Bottom line - if the sharks were a threat, they pull her from the water.

I am doing a 2 mile open water swim next weekend in the Pacific. Can you please remove all the sharks from the water? Oh, and if you could get rid of the surface chop, wind, kelp beds on the surface, waves, surfers, SUPers, oh, and those pesky pelican dive bombing around me. That'd be great
[/sarcasm]

knelson
June 20th, 2011, 05:33 PM
Bottom line - if the sharks were a threat, they pull her from the water.

Agree totally. This is a terrible precedent to set.

E=H2O
June 20th, 2011, 09:12 PM
Again I am waiting for all the facts particularly from the Captain who is allegedly involved.

If there was no incident then the local Cayman press carries a lot of responsibility for creating this controversy.

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/06/10/Palfrey-s-wild-encounters/

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/06/14/Palfrey-crushes-world-record/

Steven Munatones
June 21st, 2011, 12:25 AM
Katie, I told in detail what occurred during the alleged 3 separate massacres of endangered sharks in an email to Todd Cameron and several others, including different publications. In brief summary, I saw 3 separate incidents where sharks swam around Penny. These were in the daytime under gorgeous conditions while I was on her escort boat. I had an excellent view of the situation. As I explained to Todd who has been quoted in several publications, Penny was not under direct attack. However, a shark did come up to one of her kayakers. If I were that kayaker, I would have similarly defended myself with a paddle. I understand from many in the community that even those actions are indefensible. However, I believe it is a natural human response to attempt to defend oneself in the open ocean. As the shark was circling the kayaker, another one of Penny's support crew tried to get between the kayaker, Penny and the shark with a small Zodiac. He cut (killed) a fish and threw them in the opposite direction of Penny. The sharks swam in the direction of the bleeding fish. On two of these occasions, he attempted to hook the sharks with a baited fish. One shark was hooked and the crew member tried to pull the trashing shark into the Zodiac with his bare hands and a fishing line. If anyone has ever tried to pull a 6-8 foot trashing shark into a small Zodiac with bare hands around a fishing line, you will know that is an extraordinarily difficult thing to achieve. The shark was not caught nor pulled into the Zodiac. Without being able to be held or pulled into the Zodiac, I always wonder how the crew member was supposedly able to machete the shark to death, especially since the sharks got away and the crew member never dove in the water and there was no blood in the water and no blood in the Zodiac. I can confirm this because I was in that very Zodiac on the next shift. In summary, I did not see any sharks being killed, although I saw two sharks attempt to be hooked and pulled from the water. I have invited several individuals who are quite upset at Penny and her crew (myself included) to appear on Open Water Wednesday in order to describe this swim and these incidents and how this swim is not an example of all the good that is created by the open water swimming community. These individuals include some of the most well-known open water swimmers in history. If they agree to appear, I am hopeful their views of the sport and the desirability of respecting all marine creatures will be heard, discussed and accepted widely.

lefty
June 21st, 2011, 10:30 AM
On two of these occasions, he attempted to hook the sharks with a baited fish. One shark was hooked and the crew member tried to pull the trashing shark into the Zodiac with his bare hands and a fishing line. If anyone has ever tried to pull a 6-8 foot trashing shark into a small Zodiac with bare hands around a fishing line, you will know that is an extraordinarily difficult thing to achieve. The shark was not caught nor pulled into the Zodiac. Without being able to be held or pulled into the Zodiac, I always wonder how the crew member was supposedly able to machete the shark to death, especially since the sharks got away and the crew member never dove in the water and there was no blood in the water and no blood in the Zodiac. I can confirm this because I was in that very Zodiac on the next shift. In summary, I did not see any sharks being killed, although I saw two sharks attempt to be hooked and pulled from the water.

Are you essentially saying that the only reason the sharks were not killed was because they got away? Reserving all judgement until you clarify (if you feel like you need to, which really you don't).


If anyone has ever tried to pull a 6-8 foot thrashing shark into a small Zodiac with bare hands around a fishing line, you will know that is an extraordinarily difficult thing to achieve.

Pshh, I did it twice this morning with one hand (I was flipping an omelet with the other).

E=H2O
June 21st, 2011, 01:51 PM
I am still waiting to hear all of the information, particularly from Mr. Ebanks. Frankly I find it disturbing that he has not come forward to clarify the events surrounding the story as reported by the Cayman paper. However, it is beginning to appear that there is a building consensus that he baited the sharks and either hooked one or attempted to do so. If this was in violation of any applicable Cayman law it might explain his silence. However, he is doing a disservice to Penny by not speaking up.

That being said, I stand by Penny and her incredible feat. Considering her history of a willingness to abandon without complaint when required, I simply can not believe she (or her husband Chris) had any knowledge of what was happening. Nor do I think she would have approved the baiting of sharks by her crew in advance of the swim. Moreover, from everything that I have read, if Mr. Ebanks did what has been alleged, he did it on his own. After the fact, Penny has resolutely stood by all of her crew and their actions to protect her, as it should be.

I think it is interesting that Mr Ebanks happened to have 1 or more fish in his Zodiac. I find that odd. I am assuming that he has a good explanation for that. If you Google Mr Ebanks you find that he is a world record holding angler who runs fishing charters and is actively involve in Cayman tourism. Maybe the explaination lies somewhere in that information.

aquageek
June 21st, 2011, 02:15 PM
After the fact, Penny has resolutely stood by all of her crew and their actions to protect her, as it should be.

Hmmm, not so sure about that. Shouldn't it be about the accomplishment being done correctly and not simply about her?

The fact that you can't get the same story twice on this leads me to believe it was rather haphazardly planned or the parties really weren't in sync on what was going on during the event.

There is no doubt her feat is impressive but maybe not as record-worthy as initially reported.

What are the generally accepted rules on hazard elimination in events like this?

DeletedAccount
June 21st, 2011, 03:33 PM
Steven Munatones, I have NEVER received an e-mail from you, and you did not even reply to a message I sent you on Facebook. You were immediately very defensive to me when I simply asked on your FB wall if you saw any sharks killed.

It all smells like day old shark bait because it does not add up > I spoke with a member of the media who was present and told me they directly witnessed Charles Ebanks baiting, luring, hooking, and killing 2 Oceanic Whitetip sharks, and that he proudly claimed he killed a third. Ebanks has a reputation on the islands with divers and marine conservationists as a shark hunter/killer, and to quote the marine biologist who runs the Oceanic Whitetip tagging study: "If it swims in the sea, Ebanks kills it."

Moving forward this unfortunate incident has a positive side, it has brought the need to protect our sharks to the forefront, and will lead a strong path for new laws and protection for Oceanic Whitetips and all sharks in Cayman waters. We want these sharks fully protected, Oceanic Whitetips are on the Big List; there is a huge campaign going on in FL right now and very soon there will be NO fishing of Tigers and Hammerheads in FL waters. Working in close partnership with SHARK SAVERS and my SWIMMING FAST - FOR THE SHARKS! project to do a shark awareness swim/campaign in the Cayman Islands: FASTEST BRIDGING OF CAYMAN BRAC TO LITTLE CAYMAN: For the Sharks!

Todd

chaos
June 21st, 2011, 04:05 PM
Full disclosure: Penny is my idol and a constant source of inspiration. Additionally, I consider several of the crew members good friends, and like everyone else who loves open water swimming am deeply indebted to Steve Munatones for his dedication and commitment to all things OW. I will try to be as neutral as possible with my comments on this subject.

I have some acquaintances that tag and track sharks in the Bahamas. This is of course for scientific research with the ultimate goal of preserving and protecting the many species they study... still, there are some mortalities. Unfortunate, but acceptable? Some would say yes, some no. On one trip down there, Willie Miller, Clare and I joined them for an excursion, and got to swim in the presence of three 10' bull sharks... an amazing experience. We felt quite secure since we were surrounded by shark experts who could quickly identify aggressive behavior. Were I doing a long swim with a good chance of meeting up with with some toothy marine life, I would want folks like this on my crew. I would not second guess them for a second... period.
I would set a policy that would require the swim to be stopped, or interrupted if they concluded that I was in danger. If an unexpected situation arose and it became a choice between me or a fish, I would expect them to weigh-in in my favor (after not too much deliberation).

I remember reading in Lynn Cox's book about a diver taking out a great white to protect her during a swim in South Africa.... times and attitudes have changed for the better. This would no longer be looked upon as an acceptable safety plan, and I don't believe this was the intention for Penny's swim.

Penny swims with Shark Shields. My opinion is that too much weight has been given to their effectiveness, and I assume this might have something to do with the surprise at the tenacity of the white tips. I assume attempts were made to relocate the sharks with hooks and line (the same techniques used to catch specimens for tagging). I can't say what was in the heart of Mr Ebanks, but knowing that he was charged with the awesome responsibility to protect Penny, might he have over reacted? Would I have? Would you have? Could sharks have died during the attempt to relocate them?

I think reality lies somewhere between the sensationalized press reports and the sanitized official responses, but as I was not there, I will not pass judgement.

I will gladly participate in the discussion to come up with a safety plan that can be universally adopted that considers the safety of swimmers and marine life equally.

ChrisM
June 21st, 2011, 05:54 PM
Glad to hear Steve M chime in. However, the "I didn't see any sharks killed" version is troubling in contrast to Chris Palfrey's alleged admission that the crew sensed a threat and did what they had to do, as well as Mr. Ebanks' alleged admission that he actually killed the sharks.

And Steve, I don't think anyone disagrees that if a shark were imminently threatening anyone, including kayakers, that a physical confrontation would be appropriate. As a diver and swimmer, I would hope that if I am ever attacked by a shark, someone would beat it off, even killing it if need be (and as a diver I have dived with thousands of sharks - not hyperbole, very large schools in costa rica and galapagos - and have quite a lot of time logged in the water with them). Yes, we do enter their food chain when we enter the water, but human life is still more precious than animal life, IMO. But only if there is an imminent threat. I would sooner get out of the water - as I think penny should have - if I or my dive or swim buddies sensed a threat.

Anyway, here's the problem. The story came out and caught fire, as stories like this are wont to do. Chris Palfrey says the crew did not make th decision lightly and did what it had to do. News stories quote Mr. Ebanks. When asked about it, suddnly total silence from Palfrey's camp until Steve comes out and says it's not true, because he didn't see it. I didn't see it either, so I guess we both know as much as each other. You'll excuse some of us if we don't believe we're being told everything.

I posted on open water swimming's FB board asking if it was true. Not a peep. I posted it on my FB wall, Steve and I became friends in the last few days and he replied, denying it as he does in this thread.

Can we get some truth here? I think the reaction from swimmers and non-swimmers alike warrants some frank discussion of this topic, rather than a frank denial based on "i didn't see it." This is an odd enough story that it didn't just come from nowhere.

And in the end, if Penny credits her crew with getting her through the swim, I think she has to take some responsibility for their actions. Maybe that's just me though.

swimthegoodfight
June 21st, 2011, 06:07 PM
many of these posts border the ridiculous, and the word choice is hilarious... 'massacre?' - seriously? more insight and less incite

are sharks at risk? of course they are but not from open water swim attempts. if you would like to save the pelagic sharks, protest the swordfish and longline fisheries... for pete's sake, pay attention and vote with your dollar.

Florida won't be shutting down the tiger shark and hammerhead fishing unless they plan to halt all shark fishing AND all fishing. They will make it illegal to harvest tigers and hammerheads but they just as well might hook themselves on a hook intended for tarpon, grouper, snapper and more.

in a sense, the tiger and hammerhead fisheries will be catch and release - how's that for humane?

chill out with the harassment of Steve and Penny... they aren't at fault here, AND we aren't owed explanation.

FYI - I have a degree in fisheries biology... i've killed alot of fish - saved more than any of you too.

thewookiee
June 21st, 2011, 06:22 PM
AND we aren't owed explanation.

.

People aren't owed an explanation of the controversy surrounding the swim? Instead, we should blindly throw praise on her and her team?

If the swimmer and/or crew are going to brag about the swim, then they need to be able to respond to the controversy that surrounds their event as well.

ChrisM
June 21st, 2011, 06:40 PM
You're right, we shouldn't discuss first hand reports of animals being killed so that a swimmer achieves a record. How silly of us. 3 of a critically endangered species in the area killed. Big deal! /sarcasm

I always love the [take your pic] (1) i've done more for conservation than you so your opinion doesn't count (2) I've donated more money than you so your opinion doesn't count (3) millions of sharks are killed a year, what's 3 more? (4) unless you've dedicated your life to wildflife conservation your opinion doesn't count responses

It's almost like some people think the issue shouldn't be discussed

Anyway, I get a little passionate about these things, having been lucky enough to see them in the wild. I've also been on dive trips where there were absolutely zero sharks, where they thrived before, due to overfishing. But I won't comment further. Either people want the truth or not. To each his or her own

DeletedAccount
June 21st, 2011, 08:12 PM
That entire post wasn't just 'borderline' ridiculous..... it was absolute. Actually yes, with the continued push FL will be closing Tiger and Hammerhead (all species) recreational and commercial harvesting in FL state waters. As I type this the second nite of workshop talks are in progress in Dania Beach at the IGF Hall of Fame between the FWC and dedicated volunteers...SHARK SAVERS was instrumental in having Lemon sharks added to the Prohibited List in 2010, and the team is there tonite and other cities in the State thru June 30th working on the Big 3: Tigers, Hammers, and Bulls.

Out of all of this no one should be more upset than Penny herself, the actions of her support team have seriously marred her epic swim, and also her name. People sure know who Penny Palfrey is now, especially in the SCUBA/shark diving/environment/marine biology/animal rights circles. Unfortunately bad things happen so good things can > Oceanic Whitetips, a true pelagic species that is listed as Critically-Endangered will be getting some much needed help: a new awareness campaign/swim/documentary in the Cayman Islands which will be steps to getting them protected. That is the focus, at least for myself, coming out of all this. I can say that when I get in the water I truly AM swimming the good fight - For our Sharks. And I plan to go Fast......

chaos
June 21st, 2011, 08:20 PM
with all due respect chaos, and much is indeed due, that is a major misstatement of Lynn's Cape of Good Hope Swim ... and Lynne is my idol and Penney almost ties for 1st, and still does (congrats Penny!)

Moreover, no sharks were killed on Lynne's swim, if that is what you mean by 'taken out'.


thanks for the text. i actually have 4 copies of swimming to antarctica (3 were gifts after i swam the EC) but only read it once... about 10 years ago. still, my intention was not to demonize Lynn or diminish her accomplishments but to point out that attitudes evolve, and a couple of frogmen with spear guns as your safety crew would probably be frowned upon today.

chaos
June 21st, 2011, 08:55 PM
Good post Chaos and I'm glad you chimed in. Let me play devil's advocate to pick your brain more. Suppose I am trying to be the first person to run across Alaska (although I'm sure it has been done). Obviously Alaska has bears. While I would expect my support crew to disable a bear if I was in immediate danger, at what point is it the athlete's imperative to stop the attempt due to an obvious potential hazard to the environment, most notably including wildlife? People don't really like sharks but imagine if it were the seals recently killed on Cape Cod or menacing cuddly little puppies?

And, what kind of pre-event planning typically takes place in regards to foreseeable animal issues, if any?

This is the ethical discussion we should be having, but unless we take a vegan-hinduesque position, it is all grey area and could include a broad range of dilemmas.
Is hunting OK? for food? for fur? (fashion) for fun? (hockey mom popping caps in wolves from a helicopter)
Same with fishing.... food? trophy? catch and release? (BTW, the mortality rate of caught and released fish is quite high)
....and what about collateral damage? (on the verge of going political here)

This swim was never attempted before, so I'm sure the crew planned for everything they could imagine.... but not everything possible..

swimthegoodfight
June 21st, 2011, 10:10 PM
Chris - you and several posters have ignored the achievement and fixated on the consequences that were unintended.

perhaps penny and other might elaborate on their protocol for shark encounters during their swim... perhaps the person-in-charge should have called the swim...

you don't have to be happy with her achievement. you don't have to be happy with the consequences.

Todd - you do realize making the harvest of hammers. bulls and tigers illegal doesn't mean they won't continue to be incidental catch in other fisheries? and by the way, each of these species is permissable catch in Federal waters... as are oceanic whitetips.

I am confused by what some posters might consider reasonable... if a white shark made an appearance at the 800-swimmer alcatraz sharkfest should it be every swimmer for themselves... after all you don't have to outswim the shark just your fellow swimmer.

what would have been reasonable for penny's swim? does she need both your permission and endorsement prior to her next swim?

E=H2O
June 21st, 2011, 10:23 PM
Maybe the majority of people today think that if you cannot clear the water in time, then you must accept being attacked by the animal.


I am still unsure what happened, but if you go with the story that 3 sharks were hooked/attempted to be hooked/macheted (or whatever) one could argue that even if there was insufficient time to get out safely, that gets you only one shark. That is still not a good outcome but one which I could accept as being necessary. But the allegation is potentially 3 so that argument does not stand up. It seems that if it happened and if was only 1 person doing the baiting & hooking, there would be enough time to get out before baiting and hooking a second shark.

E=H2O
June 21st, 2011, 10:27 PM
I am confused by what some posters might consider reasonable... if a white shark made an appearance at the 800-swimmer alcatraz sharkfest should it be every swimmer for themselves... after all you don't have to outswim the shark just your fellow swimmer.

There is a reason fish swim in schools

E=H2O
June 21st, 2011, 11:59 PM
i'm not following you, why only 1?

Because in the time it takes to bait, hook & relocate or kill one shark the swimmer could easily be pulled from the water

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 12:11 AM
sorry still not following you. if the shark is removed from the situation, why would the swimmer get out of the water?

Because as I understood it ( and I might very well be wrong) the crew was already aware of the presence of the other sharks

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 12:22 AM
my guess is that the local fisherman went rogue and now there are legal implications, and this is why no one is speaking plainly, which is why the issue is festering.

I think this is not an unreasonable conclusion, especially in light of Ebank's failure to respond to the allegations.

And thanks for the clarification. I got it now.

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 12:52 AM
:bow:
snippets:

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/06/10/Palfrey-s-wild-encounters/

He dragged the shark away ...
<snip>
Less than an hour later, crew spotted a fin ...
<snip>
he told the crew that earlier in the morning he had also ...

I stand corrected, and seriously disturbed in light of the amount of explicit detail in the article. Moreover, if I was his lawyer I would tell him to keep his mouth shut if there was even a remote possibility that he broken a law.

In addition if I was in charge of marketing his business, I would tell him to keep his mouth no matter what he did or didn't do.

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 01:02 AM
"<snip> Mr. [Frank] Flowers had an idea about a swim. They contacted Penny and asked if we were interested <snip>

http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/06/07/Husband-watches-for-danger/

This is putting the whole venture into a certain perspective that I have been concerned/speculating about. Were the stakes greater than just ensuring Penny was successful?

Lump
June 22nd, 2011, 01:05 PM
if it happened and there were journalists there, where are the pics?

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 01:25 PM
At this point it seems, as you said earlier, that Ebanks went rogue. There appears to be just too much information out there to support a claim that absolutely no sharks were injured/killed. Maybe Ebanks felt that the ends justified the means, and that he needed to do everything he could to make sure Penny was successful. He may have decided it was his responsibility to make sure no sharks ended the swim prematurely. This is an entirely different thing then addressing an impending threat of physical injury (or death) to the swimmer from a shark attack. I think he may have misunderstood his role in the effort. Maybe he saw Penny's swim as a vehicle to bring attention to the Cayman's in support of the tourism industry, but that is nothing more than speculation on my part. I'll admit after this story came out one of the first things I did was get a map out to see exactly where the Caymans were (who has maps anymore - I just went to Google Earth).

It should be noted that if this swim was put together FOR the purpose of marketing Cayman Tourism, it would not be the first time that a spectacle was created for marketing purposes. Frankly, if it allows swimmers to make money while doing something they love, then I am all for it (even just covering the expenses for the swim).

As for who put the team together, I can not speak to that. There was a mention that the timing of the swim was in conjunction with the timing of the Flowers Swim. I have not seen anything that suggests it was "produced" by the same people who run that swim. What I do know is that the folks associated with the Flowers Swim were at the conference in SF in March and I thought they were wonderful people doing something great for the sport. They run a large swim event that draws people from all over, and have set it up to allow everyone to participate and enjoy open water swimming at many levels. I love their "all comers" approach to the a sport that sometimes is stifled by the chains of it's history.

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 01:46 PM
if it happened and there were journalists there, where are the pics?

It is my understanding that all of the alleged acts (it's the lawyer in me) occurred away from the main observation boats. I may be wrong on that as well.

swimthegoodfight
June 22nd, 2011, 02:18 PM
I am not certain I care for Ebanks protocol of cutting a fish in half to pacify sharks from the swimmer... wouldn't want them chumming the water some miles away either!

the article smells... fishy.

Allen Stark
June 22nd, 2011, 09:02 PM
Morality and ethics aside this "shark control" was a bad idea.First the shark is distracted by bloody chum,then it is caught on a hook and line so that it thrashes around in distress,which excites more predators,then it is killed with a machete,increasing the amount of blood in the water.This is a good strategy only if your goal is to catch sharks instead of protect a swimmer.
Evidently this action wasn't sanctioned by the swimmer or the other support crew and it is too bad it distracts from the major accomplishment that this swim was.

E=H2O
June 22nd, 2011, 11:36 PM
http://www.adventure-journal.com/2011/06/ultra-swimmers-crew-kills-three-sharks-so-she-can-set-record/



If this turns out to be true then the significance of the shark events is a bit different. His most recent quote seems to indicate that there was an established practice to bait, hook and remove sharks in the vicinity of Penny. I don't think that is a good standard in a sport where the traditional costume requirement in even the coldest water does not allow a neoprene cap, which is nothing more than a VERY thick cap. (latex - ok, silicone - ok, bubble cap - ok, shower cap - don't know it might be in the same classification as a flower cap)

nhc
June 23rd, 2011, 12:56 AM
Morality and ethics aside this "shark control" was a bad idea.First the shark is distracted by bloody chum,then it is caught on a hook and line so that it thrashes around in distress,which excites more predators,then it is killed with a machete,increasing the amount of blood in the water.

That's what I thought, too. If the shark originally was not interested in the swimmer or in eating at that moment (it may have been enjoying itself and humming some songs on its journey :D), this whole manipulation and provocation could change its peaceful mood. Suppose Mr. Ebanks missed killing it, the shark may then come back with a suddenly increased appetite and eat the swimmer.


http://www.adventure-journal.com/2011/06/ultra-swimmers-crew-kills-three-sharks-so-she-can-set-record/


From this article:
'The director of the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, said, Given the importance of sharks as a top-level predator in the marine environment, the DoE would have preferred to have seen this incident handled differently.'

Looks like even Mr. Ebanks' relative disagrees with him. :cool:

E=H2O
June 23rd, 2011, 01:08 AM
Apparently there are a lot of Ebanks from the Caymans. The family must run very deep in the Caymans. However if it has been around a long time the family might be so large that it is not a single extended family but a number of them.

a Model
YouTube - &#x202a;Selita Ebanks In The Cayman Islands&#x202c;&rlm;

1st mate on a boat
YouTube - &#x202a;Cayman Islands Native Kerry Ebanks Talks about a Trip on the SeaFire&#x202c;&rlm;

Beauty contest contestant
YouTube - &#x202a;VENESSA EBANKS •*CONTESTANT •*MISS CAYMAN 2010&#x202c;&rlm;

Including one in politics:
YouTube - &#x202a;Joey Ebanks&#x202c;&rlm;

And an artist:
YouTube - &#x202a;National Gallery - Blue Meridian by Davin Ebanks&#x202c;&rlm;

nhc
June 23rd, 2011, 01:22 AM
Apparently there are a lot of Ebanks from the Caymans. The family must run very deep in the Caymans.

How can we know if one of the sharks killed was not an Ebanks, too? One of their own :D

chaos
June 23rd, 2011, 06:06 AM
Have our attitudes evolved?

i like to believe its a work in progress, though it does appear to be a painfully slow process

ChrisM
June 23rd, 2011, 07:31 PM
If this turns out to be true then the significance of the shark events is a bit different. His most recent quote seems to indicate that there was an established practice to bait, hook and remove sharks in the vicinity of Penny. I don't think that is a good standard in a sport where the traditional costume requirement in even the coldest water does not allow a neoprene cap, which is nothing more than a VERY thick cap. (latex - ok, silicone - ok, bubble cap - ok, shower cap - don't know it might be in the same classification as a flower cap)

Yes, I'd like to hear those that rail against wetsuits support the relocation of critters.

I would also like to know the origin of the kill story then, as it was written it came from Mr. Ebanks' mouth. Unfortunately, appears as if only he knows the truth, and now - after allegations of illegal baiting of a critically endangered shark have arisen and a large public outcry - well, I am not sure I'd admit to the truth either.

This all could have been avoided (IMO) If Palfrey's team had taken a "let's find out what happened" attitude rather than a Sgt. Schultz-like "I never saw anything so it never happened" attitude of burying their heads in the sand. How about, "let me contact the people involved to see what happened"? That would be novel. Maybe she needs a new PR company.

E=H2O
June 23rd, 2011, 07:59 PM
Here is an additional article from a member of her core support crew that appears very credible. It would lead one to conclude that if Ebanks did what was alleged, he was doing it independently of Penny & and her crew's wishes - which seems like a more likely scenario.

http://kozhawaii.blogspot.com/2011/06/penny-palfreys-core-team-member-speaks.html

Allen Stark
June 23rd, 2011, 08:18 PM
I want to be clear I am not doubting Penny's effort or commitment to the ocean,only Mr.Ebanks.Now he is saying he hooked and dragged the sharks away.That may be,but it is not a harmless adventure for the sharks.I am not talking about the hook so much as the effect of being dragged.It would be exhausting for the shark,which could be fatal and depending on how it was dragged could very easily disrupted the flow of water across the gills enough to "suffocate" it.Even if the shark appeared to swim away there is a significant chance it did not survive the trauma.

chaos
June 23rd, 2011, 08:39 PM
Yes, I'd like to hear those that rail against wetsuits support the relocation of critters.

if said relocation could be accomplished without harm to the critters, i would have no problem with it. hypothetical... since i don't believe this is possible.

E=H2O
June 24th, 2011, 01:12 PM
if only 1% remain, does this mean that when oceanic white tips were at their normal population 50 or 100 years ago they would have encountered 400 on the 70 mile trip? that would be seeing 1 oceanic white tip every 280 meters, or every 20 minutes (which are conservative envelope calculations since they are, well, oceanic ... meaning the numerator would be smaller).

No. I believe it means that while there would be an increase in the numbers in a given area, it's greatest effect would be an expansion of the area in which they are found

E=H2O
June 24th, 2011, 03:48 PM
The swim covered 26 daylight hours, or 44 miles of passage. if in my calculations i had used 44 miles instead of 70, then during a 1950's swim (see 2nd pdf) one would have seen one oceanic whitetip every 176 meters, or every 13 minutes. something has to wrong the numbers. What are some estimates on the minimal habitat required to support one adult?


This would depend on the health of the food chain and the surrounding habitat. I can't imagine what the fish population would have to to support that many predators.


Why would he do that if the population was not healthy?

Not sure, but the prime justification for killing wolves is that they kill sheep, cattle, moose, deer etc. In other words the food we eat. They are competitors for the same limited resources. That could be part of an explanation.

E=H2O
June 24th, 2011, 09:19 PM
draw or imagine several squares, three inches on each side. draw an equal number of horizontal and vertical lines to create small squares, as in tic-tac-toe. in one square draw 10 horizontal and 10 vertical to yield 100 squares. leave one blank. divide the others as you like. now draw a dotted horizontal line form one side to the other, in each of the three inch squares.

each small square represents one shark. each big square represent an ocean region and has the given population density. the dotted line represents pennys swim. when the shark population density is 100 per big-square, then she encounters 10 sharks. when the population drops to 1%, then she encounters only one shark. this is a 100-fold change in population density, but only a ten-fold change in shark-sightings if the population changes x-fold, then the sightings change by the square root of x.

but this is just a naive model of 'counting sharks along a transect'. i'm guessing it sets a lower bound, and that penny's transect had a fractional dimension between 1 and 2. I think depends on the 'width' of penny's transect relative to the shark population density, as well as some statistical refinements.

While averaging out sharks over a square area is helpful, a statistical evaluation would better reflect a real world analysis. So I would suggest that in any 100 X 100 square mile area, you could have all the sharks hovering in the path of Penny, or absolutely none. It is equally probable as any other given distribution so long as you identify each shark as a unique element of the statistical evaluation rather than referring to is a a generic shark. This also assumes that the sharks are neither attracted to a swimmer surrounded by 2 65 ft boats, 2 Zodiacs and 2 kayakers, nor scared off by them.

shannonlaughing
June 25th, 2011, 03:31 AM
No sharks were killed on this swim.

Jeff Kozlovich was on the boat standing next to Norma Connolly (the reporter who started the shark killing rumor) when the shark was hooked.
http://kozhawaii.blogspot.com/2011/06/penny-palfreys-core-team-member-speaks.html

Steve Munatones was on the boat as well:
http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2011/06/penny-smiles-but-others-do-not.html
...
These are the findings of the interview with Ebanks (the alleged shark killer) and the locals who were on the boat crew as well as the Department of Tourism findings on this matter:
http://www.facebook.com/notes/bridging-the-cayman-islands/statement-from-the-organizers-of-penny-palfreys-bridging-the-cayman-islands-swim/238834866128494

Sharks were hooked and dragged away, not good for the sharks... but far better than dying. Read the part of jeffs article where it talks about what Penny and her Support Crew had decided to do about sharks. Ebanks was part of the Boat Crew... there is a difference in the boat crew and Penny's support Crew, the biggest distinction I can find is that Penny hand picked her Support Crew and the Boat Crew came with the boat. If I find that I am wrong about the latter I will post a retraction.

When all this is put together the gist of it is more "sharks were hooked baited and dragged off by a fisherman whose only reply when he came back was I got rid of them and that was taken the wrong way by the reporter" rather than "3 sharks were chopped up and bleeding in the water around a swimmer thus putting her in more danger"

No one is saying that no sharks were HARMED (hooks hurt), just that they were not killed.

Allen Stark
June 26th, 2011, 03:59 PM
No sharks were killed on this swim.

Jeff Kozlovich was on the boat standing next to Norma Connolly (the reporter who started the shark killing rumor) when the shark was hooked.
http://kozhawaii.blogspot.com/2011/06/penny-palfreys-core-team-member-speaks.html

Steve Munatones was on the boat as well:
http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2011/06/penny-smiles-but-others-do-not.html
...
These are the findings of the interview with Ebanks (the alleged shark killer) and the locals who were on the boat crew as well as the Department of Tourism findings on this matter:
http://www.facebook.com/notes/bridging-the-cayman-islands/statement-from-the-organizers-of-penny-palfreys-bridging-the-cayman-islands-swim/238834866128494

Sharks were hooked and dragged away, not good for the sharks... but far better than dying. Read the part of jeffs article where it talks about what Penny and her Support Crew had decided to do about sharks. Ebanks was part of the Boat Crew... there is a difference in the boat crew and Penny's support Crew, the biggest distinction I can find is that Penny hand picked her Support Crew and the Boat Crew came with the boat. If I find that I am wrong about the latter I will post a retraction.

When all this is put together the gist of it is more "sharks were hooked baited and dragged off by a fisherman whose only reply when he came back was I got rid of them and that was taken the wrong way by the reporter" rather than "3 sharks were chopped up and bleeding in the water around a swimmer thus putting her in more danger"

No one is saying that no sharks were HARMED (hooks hurt), just that they were not killed.

Hopefully this is true,but all we really have to go on is Mr Ebanks statement which doesn't preclude the possibility that the dragging away may have been more harmful that stated/understood.

shannonlaughing
June 26th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Hopefully this is true,but all we really have to go on is Mr Ebanks statement which doesn't preclude the possibility that the dragging away may have been more harmful that stated/understood.

It isn't just Ebanks statement that I posted. I also posted the first hand accounts of 2 people who were either in the water at the time the shark encounters happened or (as in Jeff's case) standing on the same part of the boat as the reporter who started this whole issue by misreporting what actually happened.

Allen Stark
June 28th, 2011, 09:14 AM
It isn't just Ebanks statement that I posted. I also posted the first hand accounts of 2 people who were either in the water at the time the shark encounters happened or (as in Jeff's case) standing on the same part of the boat as the reporter who started this whole issue by misreporting what actually happened.
Neither one of the other 2 witnesses know what Mr,. Ebank did after he dragged the shark(s) off,which is why I said we only have his account of the incidents after he hooked the shark(s).

E=H2O
June 28th, 2011, 02:48 PM
you're too, too, too funny bob! lets see what i can come up with. okay. something politically incorrect happened out there regarding sharks. maybe brutal slayings by a serial killer like Jack the Ripper. there are stories circulating that members of his immediately moved to the Caymans to start a new life. maybe tortured carcharhinidae by a non-swimming masochist or a triathlete, maybe someone just gave old whitey the evil eye for his sex change, maybe whatever. their lawyers get together to see if they could file a lawsuit claiming that lawyers own the rights to the word "shark", and the a lawyer of the lawyers said his clients took personal offense that people would claim that shark/lawyers could be gotten rid of so easily by dragging them away, with one of them named bob just to be sure individuality is not lost in the analysis, and another named C. Longimanus, because, you know, its a union gig, who advise them to admit nothing until all the 'evidence' is in, and then only admit what the evidence would convict them of otherwise, so as to get a lighter 'sentence'. and if all else fails claim that the formal legal training they received from the elite class of law professors genetically modified them resulting in a loss of empathy toward all living things including sharks.

Frankly I had not heard about the lawsuit.

orca1946
August 11th, 2011, 01:15 PM
Are there any guide lines set for this "protective " behavior??