Shark Junkies Push the Limits

Australian daredevil had a close call during a stunt when a tiger shark went after him.
3:00 | 01/17/14

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Transcript for Shark Junkies Push the Limits
You're used to hearing about shark attack, but a new trend might just be more alarming. Feel attacking sharks. There's a new breed of daredevil on the open seas and they're treading dangerous waters, grabbing sharks, riding sharks. And experts say it's shark, not human, who are paying the price. . Reporter: There's a lot of dumb stuff out there on the internet, and this might be the dumbest. A fun-loving australian fisherman cage diving with a bird cage. He was trying to create a viral video to promote his clothing line. I turned around and I seen the shark coming for me and i just threw the bird cage right behind my legs and saved him from grabbing my legs. I have to thank the bird cage, really. You know w more and more people are jumping in the ocean with the sharks. It could be the making or the breaking of the endangered predator of our oceans. Sharks really can't afford any more negative pr or publicity. Because we really need to save sharks on this planet. We need them. Reporter: So check out this florida teenager who hitched a ride on a whale shark. I thought maybe I should swim with him because I might not be able to do it evergreen. Then this friisherman that grabbed a 200-pound sand shark in the surf. I think people think I'm crazy. Running in the water and grabbing a shark by the tail. It's huge. Reporter: Shark tourism is a $300 million a year industry with more than 80 shark diving centers in 29 countries attra attracting shark junkies to get closer than ever. It's a thrilling, exciting sad venture. And people want that now. People don't want the ordinary. They want the thrilling, exciting, awesome adventure. And sharks, they can deliver. Reporter: I went cage diving with great whites in south africa a few years ago, but even that is old hat nowadays. My brave colleague when the diving with tiger sharks last summer wearing nothing more than a wet suit. No cage in sight. If a small shark was to make a mistake and bite you, chances are we could probably handle it. If a big shark makes a mistake and bites you, chances are you'll bleed to death on the boat. Reporter: One of the divers was killed on his boat in 2008. Reporter: The making or the breaking. If no one gets killed, then we learn to love and respect sharks and conservation efforts blossom. Also fishermen might realize sharks are worth more alive as tourist attractions than dead in shark soup. If I lose my life doing it, not only do I lose many I life, but I make them look bad, too. That's going to make people's perception go way back to the "jaws" perception. Reporter: Which is why there was online outrage when a tourist posted this image of a diver hugging a lemon shark off bora bora. There really is a lot of experience that goes into it. If people did it all the time, a lot of people would be getting seriously injured or killed. Mark eel lee is a surfer and a sofl proclaimed water man in hawaii who regularly dives cageless with sharks. That moment when you're actually close enough to a shark to touch it, there's things that you see as far as muscle definition and things that never really transfer on to film that just really are impactful. That explains why more and more people are diving with sharks. With also shark week now an annual event on discovery, sharks are in a way the kings of the final frontier, our ocean, the least explored part of our globe. Sharks are still mysterious. They excite fashicination and/or fear. It's like religion or politics. People get really emotion. One side, these things are benevolent creatures like unicorns and would never hurt mebecause we have a special connection. That's bs. On the other hand, there's people who think they're absolute killers. It's really something in between. So we have ocean ramsey who actually swims with great whites. Yep. That's a great white. They're misunderstand and misconstrued as ravenous, mindless man eating machines. That's not how they are. You're crazy. And on the other hand, people more akin to our nantucket dude who likes to wrestle. Ooch kcatching sharks is my favorite thing to do. Just a big battle. So fun. Reporter: Shark diving might be a fun thing for us and them, but only if we do it right. We can't treat these animals like dogs and cats because they're not. They're predators. We have to respect them and give them credit. Even experience divers like mark have had close calls. He was diving with a seemingly friendly tiger shark with the bahamas. He went back in and the same shark turned on h im. Shark, they're still wild animals. I make no bones about it. You can have great interactions with 100 tigers sharks. It's a numbers game. You're going to run into that one personality, that's the shark that would mug you with a knife on the streets of brooklyn. Don't try this at home. Here's my favorite shark statistic. Up to 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year. While only five humans, yes, just five, are killed by sharks. Our australian thrill seeker is lucky that he wasn't one of them. I still watch it and yeah, I'm still in the doghouse. My wife won't talk to me. I tried flowers. Are you kidding me, man? Our thanks to nick watt. Next, ha car full of kids and a

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