Is the cage attached to the boat?
Yes. The cage is designed to float at the surface, leaving a free board of about 30 cm or 1 foot. But the cage is always solidly attached to the side of the boat with two thick ropes that prevent the cage from drifting away.
How many people can go into the cage?
Up to eight people can go into the cage at any time.
Does the cage have a lid?
Yes, our Shark cage has a solid lid which will be closed once everybody is safely in the cage. The lid is there to prevent any uninvited extra passenger in the cage! Although this scenario has never happened before in the industry, White Sharks are very active near the surface, and this is what makes them such a great subject to view from the boat. Their sheer strength and power can propel them out of the water at speeds of up to 50 km/h, resulting in the Shark breaching and flying far out of the water. It is not inconceivable that one active Shark may one day land on top of the cage, in which case, the lid will prevent injuries and save your life.
How long can I stay in the cage?
This will mostly depend on the number of people on the boat and especially the number of people who wish to go into the cage. Eight people can enter the cage at a time. Your first cage dive will be relatively short, just long enough for you to see a White Shark. We will then alternate all the people who wish to dive in the cage, and once everyone has had a chance to see the Sharks from the cage, you can return for a second dive, if time allows. You should get 10 to 30 minutes in the cage.
Is the cage safe?
Yes. 100 % safe. The Shark cage is constructed from galvanized steel, equipped with many independent flotation devices to keep it aloft, attached to the boat with solid ropes and closed by a solid lid. Any reports or images that you may have read about, or watched involving White Sharks attacking cages, have all been triggered by the crew on the boat, and are the result of unnatural provocation. Marine Dynamics strives to respect the Sharks and will not provide you with thrills like these in order to give you a false JAWS experience. The cage, although attached to the boat, is free floating, so should a Shark charge the cage at full speed (which would never happen in a normal unprovoked situation), the cage will just bounce off and absorb the impact force. Sharks have a sixth sense, the Ampullae of Lorenziniare sensory organs spread mainly throughout the snout and head of Sharks, and allow the Sharks to sense magnetic fields to find potential or hidden prey in darkness, or murky conditions. The Shark cages and boat engines being metallic objects and connected to batteries will generate a magnetic field to which the Sharks are sometimes drawn by curiosity. The Shark will generally mouth the cage or engines in a gentle testing manner. The cage is indestructible and you will be 100% safe from the Sharks, but the cage can be a potentially dangerous object from other aspects: if the crew decides that the sea conditions are too rough for cage diving, it will not be without reason, and you should respect their decision in not risking your life and health. You should also feel comfortable in the water, and preferably have some snorkelling experience. The cage can be a strange and intimidating environment, and the knowledge that Great White Sharks are swimming in close proximity might also enhance any anxiety. Thus, the main potential risks involved in the Shark cages are from injuries climbing in or out of the cage, and swallowing water or drowning. Make sure that you get used to a mask and ensure that you feel comfortable before entering the cage.
Do you welcome children on the boat?
Children of all ages are welcome on the boat if conditions allow, and children are under the complete supervision of their parents. We will advise clients who wish to bring their children if conditions are adverse and recommend accordingly. Children are prone to get seasick as do adults, but the effect of seasickness on children is pronounced, with quicker dehydration. Sea sick shuttles do not always operate and, when they do, can be very costly. Legal guardians will be asked to sign additional liability waivers for those under 18 years old.
Do you allow children in the shark cage?
Our recommendation is that children of 10 years and older enter the cage, and only if the parents accompany them. However, younger children will be accommodated on special requests and if they have advanced swimming proficiency for their age, but again, only if the parents accompany them for the dive. A simple breath hold is required to view sharks, thus children should be comfortable swimming/being submerged before attempting this in the cage. Legal guardians will be asked to sign additional liability waivers for those under 18 years old.
Can I dive if I am physically handicapped?
Yes - We treat each client on a case by case basis, so you must contact us far in advance of when you wish to dive so that we can accomodate you. We are the only operator with handicapped facilities.
Can I dive if I am pregnant?
We do not recommend that a woman who is at any stage of pregnancy does a shark cage dive or goes to sea, in general. For guests who do still wish to take the plunge, we can help plan their trip for the best weather conditions, but this must be made known to our booking agent in advance.
How far do we sail from the harbour to where we anchor?
The ride on Slashfin generally takes between 20 and 30 minutes from the small harbour of Kleinbaai to our anchor location in Shark Bay (September - March) or around Dyer Island (April - September) depending on the season. This time will also vary depending on the sea and weather conditions, as strong seas and/or strong headwind conditions can lengthen this time considerably.