Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anyone dare to swim beside a shark just for challenge?...This lady does..BRAVE>>

Fearless is one word for it, crazy another.

But for thrill-seeker Ashley Futral, swimming with sharks was the ultimate way to push the boundaries.

The sportswoman was captured encountering almost a dozen of the deadly creatures 20 miles off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Even pausing to touch the nose of one of the 10ft-long Sand Tiger Sharks, the 27-year-old, kept her nerve having swum more than 100 times with the toothy beasts

Taking advantage of the artificial reef created by the sinking of two copper dredgers, she has been perfecting the Zen like meditation techniques needed in free diving, having only taken up the sport three years ago.

Miss Futral, who is able to hold her breath for five minutes, had had no experience of ocean diving before she began her steep learning curve in free-diving.

She is able to confidently swim with sharks that can grow to 12ft long.

Sand sharks, also known as sand tigers and grey nurse sharks, are large-bodied and display a mouthful of sharp teeth that protrude in all directions, even when the mouth is shut.

Despite their ferocious appearance, they are a docile, non-aggressive species, known to attack humans only when bothered first.

It is for this reason that divers try to gauge the mood of the animals.

‘I have swum with these sharks and other swirling Amberjack fish repeatedly and I feel comfortable in their presence and I think that they are comfortable with me,’ said Miss Futral who owns her own free diving firm in Wilmington.

‘Of course I wouldn't treat them with any disrespect as they are still sharks and deadly creatures, but these sharks in particular are sharks whose behaviour I feel I understand enough.

‘And with my breathing relaxation techniques from my free-diving I am also not in a panicked state when they observe me, with aids me in giving the sharks a positive impression.’

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