BATT REEF …… Not a nice place for tourists

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This was a memorable day with Ben Cropp aboard his 3.9 meter dinghy. Ben took his Freedom III out to Batt Reef, some 31km from home base at Port Douglas. It was a beautiful calm day. We motored onto the shallows of this big sandy reef. In 10 feet of water we spotted a large tiger shark and began following it, with intentions to film using a pole camera. What happened later was totally unexpected and a bit scary – even for us experienced-with-sharks guys.

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GREAT WHITE SHARK….. First picture

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**These jaws led me to a well paid 10-day job as a ‘shark lecturer’ which was sufficient to buy a brand new Rolleiflex camera with Rolleimarin housing.**

Something positive came out of what would be commonly considered to be a negative deed today.

In 1963 you were almost handed a medal for dispatching a man eater such as this. (More pictures follow).

Popular opinion is against most forms of \killing\ yet these same folk think nothing of eating meat – which is animal flesh dripping with bloood,\(sic)\ commonly thought of as the \juice.\

The situation in 1963. A 21-year old kid swimming with a shotgun powerhead sees a shark and thumps it. Simple as that, no great thought involved, just something to instinctively do in that era.

One of the world’s (late) great psychologists was also into scuba. **William C Coe** was aboard \Coralita\ destination Saumarez Reef on a one-off expedition. He told us how he was a jet fighter pilot during the Korean war.

One day he shot a dog on the ground with the 50 caliber aircraft cannons for no reason except he had the power to do so.

Bill was aged about 21 years.

How did you react to the Russian-built MiG’s used by the enemy?

“When we encountered Russian-built MiG’s we’d high-tail it out of there, fast” said Bill.

Those aircraft were superior.