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WATCH > Video of Five-Year-Old Swimming With Sharks Goes Viral: Were Her Parents Being Reckless?

News 2012/07/08 00:07:30
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When they returned from their vacation in the Bahamas, David and Elena Barnes decided to share a home video of their family snorkeling with sharks on YouTube. What was meant to be viewed primarily by friends and relatives quickly went viral, provoking massive amounts of controversy. In the beginning of the 9-minute clip, Power Boat Adventures employees are seen feeding nurse, reef, and lemon sharks. Later in the video, David, Elena, and their five-year-old daughter Anaia are seen swimming with them.

As the video piled up hits, the Internet began chiming in. Many criticized the parents for putting their daughter in danger, while others supported their actions. Eventually, the couple disabled commenting on the video and left a message defending their parenting skills. They explained that these varieties of sharks are rarely aggressive and that the company in the Bahamas has been operating for twenty years without incident.

They also appeared on “Good Morning America” to defend themselves. “Life is too short to be boring,” said Elena. “There’s just always risk assessments in life every day,” added David. “I’m more concerned that they don’t put seatbelts in school buses.”

So, what do you think SodaHeads? Were David and Elena Barnes being reckless?

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/07/pare...

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Top Opinion

  • Wyveryx 2012/07/08 00:11:57
    No
    Wyveryx
    +18
    I'd guess that school buses are more dangerous than these sharks. At least they're teaching their daughter how to live life.

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  • seattleman 2012/07/08 14:35:32
    No
    seattleman
    +2
    NO!! Reckless? No way. I applaud these parents!

    I think people are terribly uneducated about sharks. The fear people have of sharks is not justified - especially when we are talkin' about reef, nurse, or lemon sharks, as we are here. I wouldn't hesitate to allow my five year old to get in the water. A Great White? A Tiger? Now, that might be a different story.

    I love the quote from David, "I'm more concerned that they don't put seatbelts in school buses." I agree 100%!
  • kir 2012/07/08 14:08:48
    No
    kir
    +2
    People have negative reactions to situations with which they are not familiar. Ask people if this is bad parenting and often they say yes; ask them if getting a child a dog, which is basically a wolf, is dangerous they say no.
  • BongRipper 2012/07/08 14:04:41
  • merlinskiss 2012/07/08 13:56:16
    No
    merlinskiss
    +1
    But having said no, I as a parent would not have let my boys get in the water with sharks, gentle or not. Why? Because as far as I am concerned, it is a parent's job to keep their children out of harms way. Sharks are wild creatures and even these "docile" sharks can mistake a small child for a piece of lunch. And before you say anything, we provided our children with many life experiences in nature without the danger.
  • Jessie 2012/07/08 13:55:53
    No
    Jessie
    +1
    This is how a real girl lives life... ON THE EDGE!
  • I<3Edward 2012/07/08 13:45:23
    Yes
    I<3Edward
    +6
    I would let my kids swim with dolphins though, but not sharks.
  • murphyslawqyqt 2012/07/08 13:07:31
    Yes
    murphyslawqyqt
    +6
    This may change, but for now I found it interesting when looking at the voting results that more people who had children than not found it reckless. Could this be one of those things that would not be fair to answer if you don't have a child at risk?
  • wilsonmja murphys... 2012/07/08 14:54:03
    wilsonmja
    +1
    I have 3 daughters and I'd let them swim with these particular sharks not because I trust the word of this company, but because I'm familiar with these sharks. I think a lot of parents voted yes because they arent educated on these sharks. That's not a bad thing because I would do the same.
  • Maya Zauberman 2012/07/08 13:06:24
    No
    Maya Zauberman
    +1
    There's worse things in life than sharks.
  • Resp 2012/07/08 12:06:16
    Yes
    Resp
    +3
    Child Services should investigate the parents for endangering the child.
  • Twinky Resp 2012/07/08 12:25:02
    Twinky
    +2
    Of the 22 known lemon shark attacks since 1580, none have resulted in death.

    FIFTEEN EIGHTY! I'm sure Barbie dolls have injured more people than lemon sharks
  • Jessie Twinky 2012/07/08 13:55:11
    Jessie
    +1
    I agree!
  • Resp Jessie 2012/07/08 14:07:59
    Resp
    +2
    There is a first time for everything. And Lemon shark sounds like a dinner.
  • wilsonmja Resp 2012/07/08 14:54:58
    wilsonmja
    It sounds like a kiddy breakfast cereal.
  • Twinky Resp 2012/07/08 15:28:23
    Twinky
    It does doesn't it?

    But really? First time for everything is like saying a child shouldn't play in their own garden incase an airplace falls out of the sky - there's a first time for everything!
    Most parents have to made educated guesses with the information they are given regarding whether they should allow their child to do something - and weight up dangers with the desire for their child to be educated and experience the world.
    As a social worker, I can tell you if someone reported this child's parents, I would investigate and close the case as soon as physically possible because MY involvement would be more damaging to the child than the shark
  • Resp Jessie 2012/07/09 07:40:32
    Resp
    You can toss your child into the shark occupied water as chum if you want to. Go right ahead.
  • DizziNY Twinky 2012/07/09 04:47:03 (edited)
    DizziNY
    So it's ok for them to attack and possibly mutilate the kid? Are you insane or something? I mean really.

    22 people were attacked by Lemon sharks. And the 27 who were attacked by Nurse sharks and the people who were attacked by Reef sharks.

    As of early 2009, 11 unprovoked attacks and 21 attacks total (none fatal) were listed on the International Shark Attack File that are attributable to the blacktip reef shark
  • Twinky DizziNY 2012/07/09 09:16:45
    Twinky
    Life is about weighing up risks, It is not the role of social services to PREVENT ALL RISK.
  • exsecrare 2012/07/08 12:05:12
    No
    exsecrare
    those sharks are very docile. Don't put your hand in their mouths and you won't be bit.
  • Anonymouse ~superdoge~ 2012/07/08 11:17:32
    No
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    +1
    If the sharks were dangerous, then it would have been, but they're not dangerous, so they were just giving their daughter a fun holiday.
  • Resp Anonymo... 2012/07/08 12:07:18
    Resp
    As if the daughter wouldn't have fun in non-shark infested waters.
  • DizziNY Anonymo... 2012/07/09 04:43:59 (edited)
    DizziNY
    Tell that to the 22 people who were attacked by Lemon sharks. And the 27 who were attacked by Nurse sharks and the people who were attacked by Reef sharks.

    As of early 2009, 11 unprovoked attacks and 21 attacks total (none fatal) were listed on the International Shark Attack File that are attributable to the blacktip reef shark


    Partial list out of 100, of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in the United States

    Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19 October 22, 2010 Great white shark Ransom died after a great white shark pulled him off his bodyboard just before 9 a.m. about 100 yards (91 m) off Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California. He suffered the loss of his left leg, resulting in massive blood loss. On October 25, 2010, the Santa Barbara County coroner confirmed the species as great white after conferring with shark experts from the Los Angeles-based Shark Research Committee. The shark that attacked Ransom is believed to have been 17–18 feet (5.2–5.5 m) long, weighing approximately 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg)

    Richard A. Snead, 60 September 12, 2009 Unconfirmed Snead died while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at twilight off the beach in the Whale Head Bay area of Corolla, North Carolina, near mile post 4½. His body was found washed up on the beach in Kill Devi...

    Tell that to the 22 people who were attacked by Lemon sharks. And the 27 who were attacked by Nurse sharks and the people who were attacked by Reef sharks.

    As of early 2009, 11 unprovoked attacks and 21 attacks total (none fatal) were listed on the International Shark Attack File that are attributable to the blacktip reef shark


    Partial list out of 100, of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in the United States

    Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19 October 22, 2010 Great white shark Ransom died after a great white shark pulled him off his bodyboard just before 9 a.m. about 100 yards (91 m) off Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California. He suffered the loss of his left leg, resulting in massive blood loss. On October 25, 2010, the Santa Barbara County coroner confirmed the species as great white after conferring with shark experts from the Los Angeles-based Shark Research Committee. The shark that attacked Ransom is believed to have been 17–18 feet (5.2–5.5 m) long, weighing approximately 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg)

    Richard A. Snead, 60 September 12, 2009 Unconfirmed Snead died while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at twilight off the beach in the Whale Head Bay area of Corolla, North Carolina, near mile post 4½. His body was found washed up on the beach in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.[9] Final autopsy results, released on January 5, 2010, concluded Snead's death appeared to be from drowning. This conclusion conflicted, however, with an initial autopsy conducted at East Carolina University which said he died of shark bites.

    Nahid Davoodabai, 29 March 18, 1999 Unconfirmed, presumed to be a tiger shark This unconfirmed fatal attack occurred in channel waters off the west coast of Maui, Hawaii. The victim's husband, Manoucher Monazzami, stated to authorities that he and his wife were blown offshore while kayaking late in the afternoon. Their double kayak capsized repeatedly in rough channel waters, and Davoodabai was soon unable to get back onto the kayak due to fatigue. She was attacked at dusk by a "large shark", losing her arm. Monazzami was unable to control his injured wife's bleeding or keep her body on the kayak due to ocean conditions. Monazzami was found two days later on nearby Kahoolawe island with the kayak, paddles, and a life jacket. His wife's body was never recovered. Some investigators did not believe this version of events.
    (more)
  • Anonymo... DizziNY 2012/07/09 10:16:35
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    Look above. I don't have the details, but this guy does. And yes, shark attacks do happen, sometimes a person is mistaken for a seal. This is incredibly rare though.
  • Geenie Nabottle 2012/07/08 09:25:57
    No
    Geenie Nabottle
    Now had she been treated as chum then they would have no one to blame but themselves
  • Emily Barrington 2012/07/08 09:25:23
    No
    Emily Barrington
    +1
    There teaching her not to slob on the sofa, but to live a life, and that's not being reckless, its being brave.
  • Tony 2012/07/08 08:00:53
    No
    Tony
    +4
    Nurse, reef, and lemon sharks? Please, those are the pussy cats of the shark world.
  • DizziNY Tony 2012/07/09 04:42:25
    DizziNY
    Tell that to the 22 people who were attacked by Lemon sharks. And the 27 who were attacked by Nurse sharks and the people who were attacked by Reef sharks.

    As of early 2009, 11 unprovoked attacks and 21 attacks total (none fatal) were listed on the International Shark Attack File that are attributable to the blacktip reef shark.
  • Tony DizziNY 2012/07/09 16:47:26
    Tony
    nurse sharks have flat teeth
  • Jacob 2012/07/08 07:40:12
    No
    Jacob
    +5
    Sharks are over feared. They are normally harmless unless you are mistaken as food in their feeding ground. Like any animal. I'm tired of people flipping out over sharks. They are wonderful animals and good food.
  • Anonymo... Jacob 2012/07/08 11:19:24
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    Jaws has a lot to answer for...
  • wilsonmja Anonymo... 2012/07/08 14:57:43
    wilsonmja
    Lol, no it REALLY doesn't. It's not the responsibility of a filmmaker to tell people that his story is not a documentary. No, PEOPLE have a lot to answer for....stupid PEOPLE.
  • Anonymo... wilsonmja 2012/07/08 15:50:35
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    It's still enforced the image that sharks kill people...
  • Jacob Anonymo... 2012/07/08 16:15:44
    Jacob
    +1
    There is a reason jaws a sifi movie. Ever watch river monsters? Bull shark on of the most feirce sharks swim up fresh water rivers and many don't know this. There has been cases were a human has been attacted by one that has gotten trapped or felt its self endangered. You have no idea what marvelous animals sharks are. If you base your facts on a sifi movie then you'll never learn a thing.
  • wilsonmja Anonymo... 2012/07/08 18:50:16
    wilsonmja
    So.........it's called a movie....it wouldn't have been made if people weren't already stupid and terrified of sharks.
  • Anonymo... wilsonmja 2012/07/08 19:46:27
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    People didn't care about sharks before - Jaws set off mass hysteria in people that didn't know much about sharks. Shark Hunting and killing sharply increased after Jaws was released.
  • wilsonmja Anonymo... 2012/07/09 01:22:00
    wilsonmja
    That doesn't make Jaws responsible for stupid people. It was about 1 shark that was bigger than any shark anyone had ever seen. It's a monster movie and people got scared. People started hunting sting rays after Steve Irwin died. Does that make him responsible? Of course it doesn't. We're surrounding by idiots and idiots do what idiots are gonna do. You can't blame a damn movie for stupidity.
  • Anonymo... wilsonmja 2012/07/09 10:21:42
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    It didn't make them responsible, it made them the cause, however. People aren't stupid, it's just that Jaws was the first time they 'learnt' about sharks.
  • wilsonmja Anonymo... 2012/07/09 14:34:33
    wilsonmja
    Not even the cause. The cause is lack of education in America. It really is. Our education system sucks.
  • Anonymo... wilsonmja 2012/07/09 14:58:53
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    Do you really need to learn about sharks not being dangerous in school?
  • wilsonmja Anonymo... 2012/07/09 15:17:34
    wilsonmja
    No, it goes beyond that. People who are intelligent and well educated are not affected by mass hysteria. They know to look at all the facts before deciding anything. A well educated society would have realized that a movie is made for the purpose of entertainment.

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