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21 February 2009

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AKA Ragged Tooth & Grey Nurse Sharks

Welcome to the Sand Tiger Shark web page. You will find information about sharks in general and the Sand Tiger in particular as well as some great links to related web sites.

My love of the Sand Tiger began in 1990 when they began to congregate in great numbers around the wreck of the Papoose off the coast of North Carolina. They’ve always been there but their numbers have increased in recent years and that’s where the fun begins. Imagine swimming side by side with an 8- or 9-foot shark. I have that chance every time I dive into the ocean. As I swim along the upside down remains of the Papoose out of the curtains of bait fish approaches the result of millions of years of evolution, the perfect eating machine, the Sand Tiger. There is no fear. I am amazed by the grace and power of these fish. I am well aware that I would be a quick lunch for the Sand Tiger but fortunately the sharks don’t know that. I’m just another clumsy noisy fish to them and besides wet suits don’t taste that great anyway.

During the shooting of "Sand Tigers - Sentinels of the Deep" I had some wonderful encounters with these majestic creatures. At one point I was kneeling in the sand 125 feet down with stern of the wreck over my head and beside me. The Sand Tigers like this spot for some reason and it’s the first place I swim to when I want to do some videotaping. As they slowly swam by I could feel other sharks bumping my tank from behind because they had so little room to move. There were easily 2 or 3 dozen sharks in a 50-foot radius and they were literally stacked everywhere with their noses pointed into the current. I would catch large bronze colored shapes out of the corner of my eye only to see a 9-foot shark that outweighed me by hundreds of pounds swim lazily by my leg or over my head.

-- Rick Allen