On October 9, 2019 in Guadalupe Island, Mexico on one of the Nautilus Live aboard vessels a horrifying event occurred. An adult male Great White Shark died from gill lacerations and subsequent drowning. See video below:
The video, taken off Guadalupe Island, off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, was released by Arturo Islas Allende, who describes himself as an environmentalist, actor, diver and entrepreneur. He posted the film to several social media sites, claiming he was compelled to do so because the company involved, Nautilus Dive Adventures, had failed to meet safety standards. He claims the shark died because of negligence. According to Islas Allende, the bait was being used incorrectly and the window in the cage was too large. As a result, the shark's head became trapped. The footage shows the shark struggling, with its neck getting cut in the process. Islas Allende says this went on for about 25 minutes before the shark died, at which point it floated away, sinking down into the sea.
In a statement to posted to its Facebook page, Nautilus Dive Adventures said: "There was an incident with a great white shark repeatedly charging one of our cages at Guadalupe Island in October towards the end of our 2019 season. We were horrified, very sad, upset and worried for both the shark and our divers. We stage approximately 50,000 white shark dives every year and have been running these trips since 2003. "Our cages are in full compliance with all Mexican regulations. Never in all our experience have we seen a shark exhibit this behavior. When the incident happened, we immediately notified the authorities, sent them video of the event and launched an immediate review and root cause analysis."
The company said their cages are "being modified to do our best to prevent this from ever happening again." Nautilus also said it is encouraging other tour operators with shark boats "to to learn from this terrible incident and modify their cages as well."
In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Captain Mike Lever, owner and founder of Nautius said they love and respect the sharks of Guadalupe Island and do their best to protect them. "We never want to see any shark—or any human—ever get injured. But sometimes something really bad happens and catches everyone by surprise."
CONANP (the Mexican National Commission of Protected Natural Areas) also confirmed the "incident" in a statement on December 7. It said the 11-foot shark became trapped between the bars of the cage. The organization said sharks gather at Guadalupe between July and December every year. In this case, the shark collided with one of the cages and got stuck, they said. CONANP added the spacing between bars of cages must not exceed 13.7 inches and that apparatus must be modified accordingly.