Sharks killed during record breaking swim: Fact or fiction?

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So did they or didn't they? Following earlier reports of the killing of three Oceanic white tip sharks during a record breaking swim, later reports suggest that this may not have happened.

Last month we reported how Penny Palfrey’s team were alleged to have killed the three sharks when they came close to her during her swim between the Cayman Islands. However following an official investigation it appears that this may not have happened.

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and The Flowers Group questioned Charles Ebanks, the fisherman who is alleged to have killed the sharks and he stated that he did not kill any sharks during the swim and that he merely hooked the sharks and lead them away.

He is quoted saying: "I was there; I did not kill any sharks. They are assuming I did something which is not true and you can quote me on this." Ebanks stated that the boat captain from the boat asked him what he did with the sharks and he replied: "I got rid of them." He said he thinks this could have been taken to mean that they were killed."

The investigation concluded that there were no eye witness reports and no evidence has come to light that the sharks were killed although they were definitely hooked and dragged away.  

Jeff Kozlovich one of the original team who was there at the time says on his blog: "I was off shift lying down on the boat when I heard the commotion and got up to see this fisherman racing the boat close in back of Penny, throwing down a line (no pole) and catching (snagging maybe?) a shark. He struggled to bring the shark on his boat then drove too far away for me to see and came back without the shark. I was there and trying to tell what happened but I just don't know."

Gossip abounds on a number of internet blogs, including one poster claiming he overheard Mr Ebanks discussing killing three or possibly four sharks shortly after the swim.

At the time no one, including the Palfreys, denied that sharks had been killed but since the media storm occurred, stances have changed.

The reporter who originally broke the story, who was present on the boats accompanying the swimmer, is now unavailable to comment. The fact is that no one except Mr Ebanks knows whether or not the sharks were killed but in the light of the investigation we must conclude that this may not have happened.

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