AMPUTEE SWIMS WITH SHARKS
From the list of activities that Daniel Ennett pursues it’s hard to believe he’s a quadruple amputee. The 21 year old Edmonton, Alberta man has gone mountain skiing, piloted a sailboat, slid down water slides and took part in a curling game. Now, as part of a new television show, he has swam with sharks off the Florida coast.
“Daniel was sick of being inspirational for this or that, and he was like, we should do something really crazy and then I’ll feel like I’m worthy of being called an inspiration. So we did the craziest thing we could and it wasn’t easy. But we did it,” said show producer Frederick Kroetech.
The show, called Invincible Beneath The Surface is opening Saturday at the Edmonton International Film Festival. It shows six chapters about Ennett’s quest to become open dive certified. In it he travels to Florida for an encounter with sharks without a cage.
“I tried the cage but it was so awkward I figured if the cameramen were in open water, then I should be too.” Ennett said in an interview with CBC.
“They are risking life and limb but I’m risking my life,” he added.
His latest adventure is part of a series which highlights the achievements of disabled men and women in Edmonton. Ennett, who lost his limbs to meningitis at age five, said there were a few logistical problems to overcome before he actually swam with the sharks.
This included getting his huge powered wheelchair into an airplane and finding suitable hotels on short notice. In addition, just as he was about to start the dive it was discovered he needed a plug in his nose to maintain his equilibrium underwater so a special adopter was rigged up inside his diving mask.
Ennett said he wasn’t afraid, even after seeing pieces of raw, red meat being dropped in the vicinity of his dive to attract sharks.
“It was serene. I was being dragged along by a couple of dive masters I had with me. So in that respect it was very easy on my part. There were sharks in the vicinity which added a bit of tension. But at that point you’re in the moment so you want to interact with the creatures. It’s a kind of excitement that kind of leads you on.”