Swimming with the sharks to learn more about them after Surfside shark attack

Experts say sharks can teach us a lot about staying safe when we go into the water

HOUSTON - After Monday's shark attack at Surfside Beach where a teen was attacked by a black tip shark, Local 2 decided to go swimming with the sharks to learn more about them.

In a giant shark tank at Space Center Houston, there are four nurse sharks swimming around. Experts say the sharks can teach us a lot about staying safe when we go into the water.

The nurse shark can grow up to 14 feet long. They have 300 teeth and if they clamp down on you, it can be with 1,000 pounds of pressure. You wouldn't think they were exactly creatures you'd want to go swimming with.

"If you stay calm, as with most sharks, they ignore you," said diver Philip Peters.

He has been on the road all around the world for more than 15 years with sharks. Peters is at Space Center Houston as part of the Chomp: The Science of Survival. exhibit.

"Most of the time, sharks are really more afraid of you than you should be of them," Peters said.

That's exactly why he wanted us to get into the dive tank. It is something he never allows, but he gave us a few instructions.

When we asked what we need to be careful of, Peters replied, "Their mouth!"

At first he separated us, then he took away the net, leaving one very nervous reporter and four very big sharks alone. They would swim up to us and then around. We never felt threatened. He encouraged us to reach out and touch the big one, and we did -- carefully.

Peters says people who are victims are usually a mistake.

"He was probably going for another fish that were around him and he was in the middle of it and I guess got him," said Peters.

We survived our shark encounter. As soon as we got out of the 6,000 gallon tank on wheels, it was feeding time. We were thankful we were not in the water.

"Don't swim at dusk or dawn. That's really when they are feeding. When they go into a feeding frenzy, they will bite pretty much anything that's around them that moves," Peters told us.

As for the teen attacked at Surfside, he was bitten twice and airlifted to the hospital where he'll recover.

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