Documentary film team completes pioneering night dive with “world’s most dangerous shark” - The Oceanic Whitetip

(Washington, DC - June 22, 2011) Swimming pigs, flying boats and diving with Oceanic Whitetip Sharks at night without a cage. It’s a jump into a world only a handful of people have seen. All Fins On Productions just completed a remote, 350 mile expedition, during which the crew performed the unthinkable: the first ever planned and filmed dive with multiple Oceanic Whitetip Sharks at night and without the protection of a shark cage.

The first views of the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks filmed in the Bahamas at night are now available now. “The work is riveting to watch and pays homage to an earlier generation of documentary storytellers.  This is real adventure getting into the water at night with the shark Jacques Cousteau called the ‘world’s most dangerous,’” says veteran diver and the film’s producer and co-director, Robert Cantrell.

In 1970, Peter Gimbel produced a groundbreaking documentary, “Blue Water, White Death,” featuring the first dives outside of a shark cage with multiple Oceanic Whitetip Sharks during the day.  Gimbel’s team shot all of their nighttime sequences from within shark cages, a decision Gimbel is quoted as saying he regrets.

“It was a race against time to dive with these sharks at night and on their terms,” said Robert Cantrell.  “The oceanic whitetip is set to be the first of the great sharks driven to extinction.  We had a feeling that if we did not take this opportunity, Gimbel’s regret would have been forever left unanswered. These sharks will be gone.”

Jim Abernethy, shark expert and award-winning wildlife photographer said, “The exceptional boldness of this species allowed it to dominate the tropical oceans for millions of years.  Now that boldness makes them an easy target to kill.”  Oceanic Whitetip Sharks have appeared in the news recently when three sharks were baited and killed after they investigated an endurance swimmer in the Cayman Islands, and when one caused a stir by appearing off the coast of Cornwall in England. 

“We are eager to get the truth out about the oceanics. Join us on Facebook to find out more about the shark and the expedition,” says Emmy-award winning producer George C. Schellenger the film’s co-director from Status Productions.

The ocean voyage took the filmmakers to the eastern Bahamas, one of the last places in the world where people can reliably find Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. Throughout history, survivors of shipwrecks and air disasters have encountered this shark.  Most famously this included the USS Indianapolis at the end of World War II where some deaths were attributed to this shark. While once prolific worldwide, this shark, often considered the most dangerous in the world, has been hunted to near extinction over the last decade.

All Fins On, LLC is a new video production company based in Alexandria, VA headed by professional strategist, writer, and photographer Robert Cantrell.  The documentary, tentatively titled, “Sharks: Lord of the Long Hands,” will be released later this year.  The mission of All Fins On is to bring back the film cinematography and adventure feel of the prominent documentaries produced by an earlier generation of underwater explorers. 


oceanic whitetip shark