Rodney Fox was seriously mauled by a Great White Shark in December 1963 in one of the worst non-fatal shark attacks ever recorded. With severe injuries around his chest and arm, Fox managed to escape. He later went on to become a leading authority on the Great White Shark and pioneered the use of underwater observation cages to study sharks. For over 40 years he has led expeditions to film and study Great White Sharks, and has produced shark documentaries. He also facilitates Great White Shark diving expedition for recreational divers.
You have the opportunity to join Rodney Fox in a shark diving adventure on the “Princess II”. Tours leave from Port Lincoln in South Australia and take you out to the Neptune Islands, one of the best places in the world to see Great White Sharks. The Princess II is a steel hulled 23m vessel with plenty of space and facilities to give you a comfortable and memorable adventure. All meals are provided and served in a large air-conditioned saloon with bar. The six twin/double cabins all have their own private bathroom. There is a spacious lounge room like saloon for relaxation and special talks. A large tender boat takes passengers out to explore the offshore islands.
Rodney Fox Great White Shark Expeditions accommodates every level of diver and non-diver. If you are a qualified Scuba diver, you can dive in a special submersible cage to the bottom of the sea about 18m below. From the cage, you have great view of the sharks and other sea life such as eagle rays, and other large fish. Rodney Fox is the only shark dive operation to give you this kind of shark encounter. Non-certified divers can view the sharks from a surface floating cage, and dive by breathing from a surface air supply. The boat’s dive masters provide training for non divers, and assist and encourage them to participate in surface cage dives.
Rodney Fox tours are generally 3-5 days to increase the chances of at least one special day when weather, ocean and sea life conditions come together for optimum shark viewing. Shark diving is carried out at North Neptune Islands south of Port Lincoln. On the map below you can see the larger island North Neptune West and the smaller island North Neptune East. The main bay to the east of the larger island is where most of the winter trips are spent for protection from the westerly winds. Most diving is in water from 12m to18m. Action Bay on the north east of North Neptune West is the best bottom diving location on the northern side. In the middle of Action Bay there is a saddle of rock running into deep water with thousands of colourful reef fish. During the expedition, you will have the chance to get to shore and explore the Neptune Islands, where you will see many birds, and may see dolphins, Australian fur seals and the maybe even the Australian sea lion.
On day of departure, you will board around 9am and the boat will head out through the sheltered waters of the Spencer Gulf and through Thorny Passage. Depending on the weather conditions, and tour schedule, you may have the opportunity to snorkel with Australian Sea Lions at Hopkins Island on the way to Neptune islands.
Once you get to the Neptune Islands, the crew will start chumming the water and looking out for sharks. On the first day, you will start shark viewing using the surface cages, and wait until the second day before lowering the submersible cages to the bottom. After new divers have had some basic training, divers are encouraged to enter and leave the cages at their leisure. Photographers have the opportunity to capture the most spectacular Great White Shark images available anywhere in the world.
In between dives you can relax around the boat, get involved in research programs, or watch the shark action from the boat. When conditions are favorable, you will have the opportunity for island excursions. After dinner, there are special talks, viewing the days video and photos, and generally relaxing. On the last day of the trip, you will get a full day at the islands, and depart after 6pm, arriving back at Port Lincoln after 10pm. Most passengers stay on the boat overnight at the port, and head off the next morning.
Warm clothing is required as temperatures can fluctuate with cooler conditions even in summer. All passengers intending to cage dive will need their own equipment or hire their gear from the tour operator. This includes wetsuits, boots and gloves. Only certified Scuba divers can dive in the submersible bottom cage – proof of your certification is required. You will also need to bring your own regulator or hire one for the trip.