Two shark attack survivors faced their fears by swimming with sharks

Shark-attack-survivorsABC NewsHunter Treschl and Paul de Gelder.

Two men who lost limbs in shark attacks agreed to face their fears and dive back into shark-infested waters. Now, their story will kick off a week of shark-themed programming for Discovery Channel’s 28th annual Shark Week, ABC News reports

Hunter Treschl is a student who lost his left arm while wading in waist-deep water on vacation. Paul de Gelder is a former Australian Navy diver who lost both his right arm and right leg during a military exercise. (Since then, Gelder has become a motivational speaker and Discovery Channel’s resident marine conservationist.) The two first met last summer, shortly after Treschl was attacked. 

A few months later, de Gelder invited Treschl to swim with sharks once again  — this time inside a protective cage. The teen agreed, and Discovery caught the encounter on underwater camera.

“It was a bit kind of scary at first,” Treschl said on Good Morning America. “But that was like maybe the first two or three minutes and after that I really began to appreciate like, wow, these are some really cool animals and getting to see them up close is really awesome.”

Their dive was part of a research project from expert Dr. Craig O’Connell, who’s exploring the use of magnets as a shark repellent.  

Sharks Among Us” airs tonight on the Discovery Channel at 10 pm eastern. Watch Treschl and de Gelder’s entire interview with Good Morning America right here:

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