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Before you Cage Dive with Great White Sharks, ask these questions...

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Join us for the adventure of a lifetime… White Shark cage diving at Isla Guadalupe.

Choosing the White Shark diving operation that best suits your needs is perhaps the most critical decision you need to make as you prepare for your shark diving adventure. With the tremendous amount of information available this can be challenging to say the least.

To aid you in this task Islander Charters offers a list of important considerations to take into account as you do your research.

Does the shark dive operator personally have the necessary experience to lead a safe and productive expedition?

A shark diver prepares for his dive We do... For over 25 years, we have been diving and exploring Baja California's waters. As vessel Owners/Captains we also personally lead each and every shark dive to Guadalupe Island. Our hands-on approach has been delivering spectacular White Shark cage dives with a 100% success and safety record with absolutely zero cage incidents since 2004.

Our entire crew, from the captains to the chef, are experienced, federally licensed mariners. Our time at sea represents decades of knowledge that can only be obtained hands-on. As not only divers, but fishermen, we've built our careers and reputations on understanding the ocean environment and how that pertains to finding fish and, most importantly, sharks. That's how we deliver better shark action a higher percentage of the time.

White shark cageIs the operation lead by experienced, professional mariners?

Ours is and safety is our number one priority. Travelling in the open ocean and shark diving Isla Guadalupe is a safe experience because our expert crew works hard to ensure it. From the time we leave the dock, we take proactive steps to minimize risk ensuring the safety of our passengers and crew. For example, as prudent, professional mariners, we make it a point to bring our shark cages on board each night along with all dive equipment. While typically calm, Guadalupe Island's remote location can result in severe weather changes in a short amount of time often in the middle of the night. Pulling the anchor in high winds with shark cages dragging in the water is not only poor seamanship but dangerous as well.

Can the operation truthfully guarantee a 100% perfect safety record free of shark cage incidents?

If not, then you need to ask why and understand the circumstances leading to the accident(s). Our perfect safety record speaks volumes about the expertise and discipline of our veteran crew. As common sense would tell you, there is absolutely no room for error when dealing with 3000lb apex predators. We know this and take your safety very seriously. Islander Charters employs the same crew year after year; and, we all are 100% committed to safely handling Great White Sharks. Incidents involving White Sharks and cages are bad for the sharks, the shark diver, the industry and we have never had one.

Success rates…

Although we have a 100% success rate for finding Great White sharks, there far is more to it than that. It's all about percentages...the percentage of the time you are in good shark action throughout the trip is what counts. Because of our experience as career fishing captains along with our local knowledge of Guadalupe Island, we consistently encounter more sharks a higher percentage of the time than any other operator at Guadalupe.

Does the operation's advertised price include everything?

Our White Shark dives are ALL-inclusive and we mean it.
Once you board the boat you won't be hit with any hidden charges like Guadalupe Island Biosphere permits, Mexican Tourist Visas, Wetsuit Rental Costs or charges for house Beer and Wine.

Is the shark diving company and vessel locally owned and operated?

Local knowledge is vital to the success of your trip. Guadalupe Island is on our doorstep!
We are a locally owned and operated San Diego company with unmatched experience at Guadalupe Island. Our San Diego fleet was the first to discover the presence of white sharks at the Island long before the first shark cage went into the water. In addition, local knowledge is critical when Guadalupe Island White Shark it comes to finding Great White sharks and providing you with the most consistent shark action even in the most challenging conditions. As career fishermen, we always have one eye on Guadalupe's complex currents and cues given by other marine life. These things help us to understand where and when Great Whites will appear. It’s what we do for a living.

Local knowledge of back-up White Shark locations along with our up to the minute communications network with San Diego based Tuna boats fishing at Guadalupe Island is invaluable. They often tip us off to other Great White Shark activity happening in alternate locations around Guadalupe which in turn helps keeps you in the sharks a higher percentage of the time. That’s just one more reason why nobody encounters more White Sharks than Islander Charters at Guadalupe Island!

Plus, being local enhances your safety by the fact that our shark cages aren’t collapsible and travel to San Diego by truck only to be bolted together upon arrival; we are already here! Great White Shark Teeth

Is the boat and crew certified by any reputable agency?

Our vessel, The Islander, is a United States Coast Guard inspected vessel. We comply with all safety requirements and maintain our vessel to strict federal standards. Our captains (at least three on every trip) all maintain proper licenses and our entire crew is STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers) certified and part of a USCG mandated random drug testing consortium. As a U.S. flagged vessel, we benefit from the United States Coast Guard's network of safeguards including, but not limited to, emergency air-lifts at sea. In an emergency situation these assets are only one call away making Islander Charters one of the safest operations at Guadalupe Island.

Does the operation design and fabricate it's own shark cages and can they speak knowledgably about them? Has their equipment ever failed?

Our cage design remains unchanged for one simple reason - we got it right the first time! You need look no further than You Tube to see what happens when shark cages fail due to improper design at Guadalupe Island. Collapsible cages held together by nuts and bolts are inferior. Each of our three cages was fabricated under our direct supervision by experienced marine welders from Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Marine Science Development department here in San Diego. We've employed superior materials and weld techniques to produce the finest shark cages at Guadalupe Island. Furthermore, our cages were designed with the diver in mind so the viewing windows are in appropriate places. That means you will not spend your trip viewing Great White sharks from your knees or standing on milk crates to see through the viewing window. Do your research when booking your trip or you just might!

Do they have a proper air system and is it reliable?

A lifetime of diving has provided us with a clear vision and understanding of the ideal air system. Twin Bauer dive compressors fill our massive air banks on a nightly basis and supply properly filtered air throughout the dive day. A correctly maintained air system designed for diving is a necessity when spending countless hours underwater for multiple days. Proper breathing systems cost tens of thousands of dollars. We designed and built ours from the ground up. Be wary of anyone who is cutting costs by using air compressors from hardware stores as air compressors designed for air tools or workshops have no place in a marine environment providing breathing air. Again, do your research!

A great white shark from the cages

Does the operation offer a submersible cage in a safe and responsible manner?

We do. We are one of several boats at Guadalupe who offer a submersible cage. This option is offered only to certified divers and each dive is lead by a certified dive master.
While submersible cage diving offers an amazing glimpse into the world of the Great White Shark, it must be done in a safe manner. We do not allow divers out of the submersible shark cage for obvious reasons. Your safety is our chief concern. We are constantly monitoring conditions and shark behavior and will never put you in a situation that we feel is unsafe.

Does the operation make a real commitment to White Shark conservation and research? Do they give back to the resource?

For the past twelve years, we, along with Dr. Mauricio Hoyas & the Mexican observer program, have been leaders in scientific study and conservation efforts at Guadalupe Island. Many scientific findings originating from Guadalupe Island are a direct result of our on-site logistical and financial support. We work closely with graduate students from CICIMAR (in La Paz, Mexico) and CICESE (in Ensenada, Mexico) and will continue our support into the future.

Can I fish during the White Shark expedition?

Unfortunately, no. CONANP (the Mexican agency governing Isla Guadalupe) STRICTLY PROHIBITS FISHING WHILE SHARK CAGE DIVING. Fishing gear has no place in the water while diving with sharks. It creates an unsafe climate for both Great Whites and divers. Beware of websites employing sales tactics that advertise fishing and shark diving at Guadalupe Island. It’s simply not allowed and they know it.