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Swimming Towards Sharks Is Terrifying - But Not For Discovery Channel's Kimi Werner

Freediver, spear-fisher, and the only female character on Discovery Channel's Pacific Warriors series, Kimi Werner discusses a scary experience of encountering a tiger shark and the lessons she learned from it.

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"Why do you swim towards the shark instead of away from them? - Because I learned that quickly from making the mistake of trying to swim away from them before."

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Photo Credits : (GettyImages)
Mario Tama Frederick M. Brown Tom Shaw Dan Kitwood Ed Giles
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

Why do you swim towards the shark instead of away from them? - Because I learned that quickly from making the mistake of trying to swim away from them before. When I first had my encounter with the tiger shark, when I first started diving and it actually stole a fish that I shot and I just wanted to get as far away from that thing as I could, but I just noticed that just made it spark even more of an interest in me and the more that I thought about it, I thought about the way that I hunt and when I hunt I never swim in directly at a fish because that will always push them away, I kind of go down to the bottom of the ocean and I try and be real passive with my body language and that brings the fish in, and so I kind of just realized that your body language really tells the other creatures in the ocean whether you're predator or prey, and knowing that a shark really is just a bigger fish, I don't want to pull away from it because that is going to spark its curiosity like the other fish and it will come right into me. And so if I want to keep a good distance from this shark, as weird as it sounds, you swim towards the shark. - Wow. - And that behavior of holding your ground, I mean that's what's kept me safe definitely. - What if you hear the John Williams music? - You have to shut it all out because if your heart rate goes up they can feel that, and all fish including sharks have this lateral line that's made to detect vibrations and so any thought of fear you have, anything like that it's transmitted through the ocean and so it's really important to just stay calm, stay confident and know that you've got it.