In what is the one of the world’s greatest Great White Shark attack survival stories, Rodney Fox survived an attack on his life by one of the fiercest creatures on the face of the earth and lived to tell the tale. Now after 50 years of that incident he will be revisiting the Aldinga Beach on Sunday December 8,2013.
That infamous encounter with a great white shark left lasting scars and nightmares; but in the end, also drove him to establish one of South Australia’s most exciting tourism attractions – shark cage diving at Port Lincoln.
Speaking on the occasion South Australia’s Tourism Minister Leon Bignell mentioned that Port Lincoln is one of only three places in the world where a diving enthusiast can come face to face with a Great White Shark, albeit from inside the safety of a cage. He also extended his thanks to Mr Fox for his dedication and deep understanding of sharks that helped create this exciting and unique tourism attraction in South Australia.
People from all around the world come to Port Lincoln to gain the experience of diving with the Great White Shark from inside the safety of a cage, added Mr Bignell. He also said that diving with the Great White not only makes for a great tourism attraction for South Australia but it is also a major impetus for the regional economy of the entire Eyre Peninsula.
What Mr Fox survived is a vicious attack on his life by one of the most feared predators of the earth and the experience was enough for anyone to make it a launching pad for retribution. To Mr Fox’s credit, however, he used that experience to educate and create widespread awareness about the Great White Shark.
Explaining his stand and his commitment in this regard Mr Fox said that there is still a lot that is unknown about these magnificent creatures of the deep and he has made it a mission in his life to expose the myths that shrouds much of their existence. His efforts in this direction has earned him many acknowledgements including the South Australian Tourism Industry Council’s Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.
Now a septuagenarian, Mr Fox says the incident which made him famous 50 years ago is still fresh in his mind like it happened yesterday, adding, “It’s not something easy to forget.” The attack, he says, showed him how little humans know about this fierce creature and how fearful they are of the things they don’t understand.
Since the attack, Mr Fox says, it has been a mission for him to share what he has been able to learn about the Great White, and also let people know that these creatures are not the kind of mindless menace that popular cultures tend to project them as. There is still a long way to go in our endeavour to learn about these creatures and for the moment an opportunity for people to be able to watch them in their natural habitat is a step in the right direction.
Mr Fox also mentioned that sharks are at the top of the food chain when it comes to our oceans and their survival is the key to keeping our oceans healthy. It is thus imperative that we humans respect them and adapt to live with them rather than kill them at the first available instance.