"Just speechless": BC divers spot rare shark near Vancouver Island (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)

Jun 7 2023, 8:52 pm

Four BC divers had the shock of their life when they spotted a sixgill shark during an exploration in Port Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island last Saturday.

They were among a group of 40 divers at the dive site that day, but were the only ones to see the creature.

The first thing that came to mind?

“I need to get this on camera,” Matteo Endrizzi told Daily Hive.

Fellow diver Connor McTavish was the first one to spot the shark. He flagged the others with hand gestures and a flashlight, but the rest of the group didn’t believe him at first.

Then another diver in the group, Danton West, spotted the spark around the shipwreck site. At that point, all four members of the group saw the creature.

In fact, the shark swam towards the group and swam in circles back and forth between Endrizzi and his companion, Garrett Clement.

“There was a point where I was within a foot of the shark,” Endrizzi recounted.


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A post shared by Garrett Clement (@30metersdown)

“My reaction was basically in awe and just speechless,” he said. “Some people go diving there their whole life and never see it.”

We were all excited,” Clement added. “ We all knew what that animal was and just how rare it was. So just to be able to see it was a huge privilege.”


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A post shared by Matteo Endrizzi (@matteo.scubamaster)

Sixgill sharks are deep water animals. They inhabit temperate seas and cold, deep tropical waters. Most sightings by divers occur in the summer, according to the Vancouver Aquarium.

The group believes the shark had risen from the depths after being attracted to divers’ light.

“There used to be [a] place where you could somewhat see them if you put enough time in. But over the last five to 10 years, they’ve really started to die off and then sightings have [become] fewer,” Clement said.

Clement said he hopes his experience will inspire people to value the ocean more.

McTavish’s wish is much simpler.

“I just want to keep getting in the water and see what else I can see.”

Regina NgRegina Ng

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