Amy, who has never dived before, is
determined to complete the challenge. Upon arriving in Cape Town
she says: “I will face my fears. I am scared of sharks and
the sea. I think it’s a really good opportunity. I want to
be able to go back and say I’ve swum with sharks.”
Colin, who also has no diving experience, reveals: “I’m
scared of water…I’m hoping I can control all my nerves
Ruby, an experienced diver, says: “Because some of my experiences
in life are heightened realities I have to keep upping the ante
in a positive way…this will really up the ante!”
Richard, who has dived before, says swimming
with sharks will fulfill a lifelong passion for him. He had
a previous encounter as an eight-year-old while he was on
holiday in Mozambique. While out on a motor boat with his
family the engine cut out and as the evening, and darkness,
drew in a shark began circling the boat.
He reveals: “We were all absolutely terrified we were
going to be eaten.”
As well as facing a shark dive in a metal
cage – like hundreds of tourists do in South Africa
every year – the unwitting celebrities will also be
guinea pigs for a new cage made out of Polycarbonate which
has only been tested twice before.
The celebrities have several days to prepare for the task
ahead. For Amy and Colin this includes learning how to dive
and going into a deep freezer so they can experience the extreme
temperatures they will face in the water.
The stars also meet three locals - retired fishermen who
have had close encounters with sharks - who offer advice on
surviving potential attacks and the celebrities start to realise
the dangers which lie ahead.
And if that wasn’t enough to make the celebrities nervous,
just three days before the scheduled dive a storm begins to
gather momentum which could make the water too choppy.
With a small window of opportunity the schedule changes and the
celebrities are suddenly told that they will have to do the dive.
However once they get out to sea the conditions worsen and the celebrities
decide not to take the risk.
The big day finally arrives, the waters are calm and there’s
no escaping for a second time! Ruby is first up, despite protestations
that she would prefer not to. She jokes: “I would like Amy
to have her wish and go first and if they don’t eat her they
won’t want any of us because she’s the freshest meat
As she is lowered into the water in the cage she spots a shark.
Screaming and breathing very quickly, a frightened Ruby shouts out:”There’s
a shark oh my God oh my God…my feet are going to stick out
of the cage.”
The other celebrities on the
boat above look even more nervous as they can hear her screams.
She is hauled back onto the deck and tells them: “Did
you hear my screams? It’s incredible. Nothing prepares
you for when it goes by.”
An excited Richard then gets ready to go next telling them:
“I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for this
all of my life.” He is then submerged in the cage and
spots a shark. He says: “That is an absolutely beautiful
thing.” Once on the boat he says: “It was absolutely
wonderful. I just loved it. Thankyou.”
Colin also does his dive and returns to the boat in awe of
“I didn’t expect it to be like that. It was just phenomenal,”
Amy is the last to dive. Once in the cage she screams: “The
cage is moving. Oh my God there’s the shark!”
Back safely on the boat afterwards she says: “I’m so
proud of myself.”
It’s celebrations all round for the stars but then they are
told that there’s an extra challenge ahead. There’s
a chance to get even closer to the sharks with a specially designed
cage made out of clear Polycarbonate which will offer uninterrupted
views of the big fish. However with more bad weather on the way
there’s only time for two celebrities to take part.
Richard and Ruby agree to take the plunge and both go into the
cage together. Ruby is amazed: “I could live down here!”
Richard is also suitably impressed: “It’s a dream Ruby.”
Ruby says afterwards: “I didn’t want to leave it I’m
so in love with it.”
The excited pair then swap notes. Ruby says: “That was the
biggest high I’ve ever had. It’s magnificent and it
doesn’t care about you!”
Richard says: “Coming back to Africa 40 years later and going
in the water with a Great White Shark was a perfect full circle.
So thanks very much for having me.”
Ruby adds: “It’s jaw dropping. It’s Jaws dropping!”