- An electronic shark-deterrent device called Shark Shield will be used during an attempt at a record-setting ocean swim.
- This will mark the first time the technology is used for an unassisted swim attempt of this distance.
- The company that makes the technology is researching a new system to protect larger areas.
A shark can pick up a human heart beating close by so it's helpful to have a deterrent system handy when swimming in ocean waters where they roam.
This summer, 61-year-old distance swimmer Diana Nyad's team plans to use a system called Shark Shield during her attempt to swim the 100-odd miles from Cuba to the Florida Keys. The tech isn't new, but it will be put to the test like never before.
"It pulses a bit like an electric fence," said Martin Grace, general manager for the Australia-based company Shark Shield. "The shark detects that, doesn't like it, and you'll see the skin shudder in the shark. It will have a bit of a look around and then go away."
Australian Susie Maroney successfully swam the Cuba-Florida route in 1997, but had assistance from a protective shark cage. In June, swimmer Penny Palfrey set a long-distance world record for an unassisted 67-mile marathon between two Cayman islands. Her escort boat was equipped with a Shark Shield.