Tried and tested: Shark dive at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

by Kate Samways

It’s not often that your boss pulls you aside to say, “Just make sure you return to the office without any limbs missing”. We were heading out the door and on our way to go shark diving – and she didn’t want to lose three members of staff!

Shark dive SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

All jokes aside, we were well prepared before heading into the tank. When we first arrived, the instructor ran through everything that was going to happen throughout our dive. We then went off to a training room where we watched a video to reinforce what he had already told us. The instructor pressed play on the DVD and the first scene featured music from Jaws. It was meant to be funny, but I wasn’t laughing!

Shark dive SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

It was then into the real tank where we ran straight into a stingray “resting” on the sand – we were ushered around him as we didn’t want to make him angry by accidentally stepping on him. The instructors then directed us towards the southern end of the tank where we soon came face to face with the sharks. We climbed over the walkway one by one and stood on the glass – the perfect place to not get in anyone’s way (sharks, turtles and fish), as well as a great spot for photos – both from inside the tank and outside where we had an audience.

Shark dive SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

While I wasn’t as scared as I expected, I will admit that when the first shark swam past me (literally about 30cm away from my face), I screamed so loudly inside my head. Thank goodness I didn’t literally actually scream or my mouth piece would have fallen out! It didn’t take long before we got used to the sharks swimming by and started posing for photos. Having never been scuba diving before, I would highly recommend it as a perfect introduction. For my first time, I felt safer in a tank then I think I would in the deep blue sea. The sharks were intimidating at first but soon became the background in our photos. For the past week I have been showing off and telling everyone I have been diving with sharks – a once in a lifetime opportunity!

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