Have a Shark Encounter... safely

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: The writer (right) admires a hammerhead shark at Marine Life Park's Shark Encounter, which will allow visitors to spend 15 minutes underwater gawking at ocean predators.


    Jun 14, 2013

    Have a Shark Encounter... safely

    INCHES away from my face, a hammerhead shark bared its rows of menacing teeth and tore away at a hapless fish.

    I remained unharmed in those few moments, peering from the safety of an acrylic enclosure underwater, where I was given a 360-degree view some 200 sharks of 10 species.

    The media was yesterday given a preview of what visitors can expect at the Marine Life Park's newest attraction, Shark Encounter, which opens to the public tomorrow.

    For $88, visitors aged 12 and above can spend 15 minutes underwater up close and personal with ocean predators, such as hammerhead sharks, nurse sharks and black-tip sharks. A maximum of two participants is allowed in each session.

    Another attraction at the park, called Sea Trek Adventure, will be opened to the public on June 30. It will see visitors don air-filled helmets and wetsuits before they descend 3m into the 18.2-million-litre aquarium.

    Once on the aquarium floor, they can walk about and be treated to a panoramic view of 50,000 fishes of more than 80 species.

    It will cost each participant $238 for a 20-minute underwater session, with a maximum of five participants allowed per session.

    But, unlike Shark Encounter, visitors do not need to know how to swim to experience the Sea Trek Adventure.

    The Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa opened its gates to visitors last November.

    Its oceanarium is billed as the world's largest, with 100,000 animals spread over 8ha.

    Visitors can look forward to even more sharks in the future, said the park's senior curator, Mr Grant Willis, 41.

    He said: "We do have a lot of sharks that are breeding already (and) we have eggs that are hatching...

    "What we're looking at now is to get pairs (of male and female sharks) and we are looking at having breeding groups of all the different species."