Device to keep sharks away now available in US - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Device to keep sharks away now available in US

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TAMPA BAY, FL (WFLX) - A product to help keep sharks away while you're in the water is now being sold in Florida. An Australian-based company is bringing the device, called "Shark Shield", to the Tampa Bay area.

When you plan your day at the beach, the only things on your mind are the sand and the water, but if you're like Chad Campbell, great white sharks may also be on your mind. "They might come in but just close enough to where you could see them then go away and stay on the outer perimeter of us," said Campbell.

That's because of a device called "Shark Shield". For the first time ever, users can buy it from its first U.S. store. "You wear this on your ankle, and this antenna trails behind you in the water. Inside this antenna, we've got two electrodes," said Amanda Wilson with Shark Shield.

Those electrodes create an underwater electric field.

When a shark comes close to someone wearing the Shark Shield, the devices causes spasms and keeps the sharks away. Officials say what's also interesting about "Shark Shield" is even though it repels the sharks, it doesn't hurt them.

"It doesn't cause any long term damage. It just causes the muscular contraction of their snout. As soon as they're outside of the field, that spasm stops."

Good news for water lovers, like Chad. He says he and other divers have had far too many close encounters with sharks without the device.

Now, they feel safer diving to new depths."It definitely worked, and I'm not getting in the water without it anymore for a safety precaution," he said. 

The price tag on the Shark Shield starts around $600.

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