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Parents Defend Letting Daughter, 5, Swim With Sharks
July 6, 2012 at 8:36 AM

What do you think?

 

When Elana and David Barnes posted a home video to YouTube of their 5-year-old daughter swimming in the ocean, they intended to share their vacation memories with friends and family, not the world.

But the video quickly became a viral sensation because it shows their daughter, Anaia, not just frolicking in the water but snorkeling with sharks in the waters off the Bahamas.

“Life is too short to be boring,” Elana Barnes told “Good Morning America” of why she and her husband let their daughter swim with the nurse, lemon and Caribbean reef sharks.

The video of Anaia in the water has proven to be anything but boring, provoking a fiery debate online about whether the Ridgefield, Conn., parents were irresponsible in placing their daughter in a potentially dangerous situation.

“When you are an adult, you are allowed to be as reckless as you want to be,” said Ericka Souter, editor of the The Stir on the Café Mom parenting website. “But as parents, it is our job to protect our kids from reckless and dangerous behavior.”

The Barnes say they researched the risks and decided it was worth it to nurture an adventurous spirit in their daughter. The sharks with which Anaia swam are said by animal experts to be rarely aggressive and she was with an instructor the entire time.

“There’s just always risk assessments in life every day,” David Barnes told “GMA.” “I’m more concerned that they don’t put seatbelts in school buses.”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/07/parents-defend-letting-daughter-5-swim-with-sharks/

Replies

  • IAMmomtotrips
    July 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM
    I think it's being blown out of portion. The sharks she was snorkeling with we're nurse sharks and are less agressive than dolphins!

    She was in a more controlled environment than when the average person swims at the beach!

    I took all three of my five year olds snorkeling this summer and when we dropped anchor to begin our swim a 7 ft bull shark swam right under the boat! And that did not stop us from snorkeling and he didn't go out of our area...he just stayed away from us. We also found 5 sting rays. It was a great trip!
  • bec94
    by bec94
    July 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM
    I agree with you!


    Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

    I think it's being blown out of portion. The sharks she was snorkeling with we're nurse sharks and are less agressive than dolphins!



    She was in a more controlled environment than when the average person swims at the beach!



    I took all three of my five year olds snorkeling this summer and when we dropped anchor to begin our swim a 7 ft bull shark swam right under the boat! And that did not stop us from snorkeling and he didn't go out of our area...he just stayed away from us. We also found 5 sting rays. It was a great trip!

  • Delirium003
    July 6, 2012 at 8:51 AM
    I think it's cool she had a chance to do that. And she was with someone that could get her the heck out of there if thugs got sticky.

    ETA: lol, my phone autocorrected "things" to "thugs".
  • SabrinaLC
    July 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I agree with this!

    Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

    I think it's being blown out of portion. The sharks she was snorkeling with we're nurse sharks and are less agressive than dolphins!

    She was in a more controlled environment than when the average person swims at the beach
    !

    I took all three of my five year olds snorkeling this summer and when we dropped anchor to begin our swim a 7 ft bull shark swam right under the boat! And that did not stop us from snorkeling and he didn't go out of our area...he just stayed away from us. We also found 5 sting rays. It was a great trip!


  • anjones09
    July 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM
    I agree

    Quoting Delirium003:

    I think it's cool she had a chance to do that. And she was with someone that could get her the heck out of there if thugs got sticky.
  • LuvingRN
    July 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM

     I think it was definitely blown out of proportion.  I would let my kids do it.

  • Audreesmommy757
    July 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    deff blown out of proportion...they were not agressive sharks and it was a controlled enviornment

  • Audreesmommy757
    July 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM


    Quoting IAMmomtotrips:

    I think it's being blown out of portion. The sharks she was snorkeling with we're nurse sharks and are less agressive than dolphins!

    She was in a more controlled environment than when the average person swims at the beach!

    I took all three of my five year olds snorkeling this summer and when we dropped anchor to begin our swim a 7 ft bull shark swam right under the boat! And that did not stop us from snorkeling and he didn't go out of our area...he just stayed away from us. We also found 5 sting rays. It was a great trip!


  • sweetlyblissful
    July 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM
    I find it scary. But I guess if they felt their child was safe, then fine. No parent in their right mind would allow their child to be in danger, and be fine with it. (I hope.)
  • Beautiful31mom
    July 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Do people not realize that if you swim in the ocean you are swimming with sharks? 

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