According to multiple news stories, prolific anti-aquarium activist Rene Umberger, of Snorkel Bob-like notoriety, was attacked by an aquarium collector underwater. Captured on video, Rene was videoing aquarium collectors on a reef in Kona when one of them rushed toward her and removed her mouthpiece, obviously cutting off her air supply. The activist was able to recover and regain control of her SCUBA equipment, but the attacking diver continued a display of aggression prompting Umberger to believe a second attack was imminent. The video was handed over to Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources officials, and an investigation is currently underway with many commenters on social media calling for attempted murder chargers to be brought up on the unknown diver, if apprehended.
But that’s not the entire story here. Apparently, it is also against the law to harass aquarium collectors, a tactic not all too unfamiliar to Umberger and the activist groups to which she is associated. While we do not condone, in any way, the activities of the aggressive diver, Rene’s actions should not be viewed without some guilt in the matter, as her filming (which could be easily construed as harassment) is what prompted the attack in the first place. She was not there minding her own business, and someone familiar with her techniques finally had enough.
We are happy that Rene wasn’t serious injured in the altercation, but we also hope it was an eye opener for her that these tactics are not only uncalled for, but also won’t be tolerated by divers and could lead to some serious repercussions.
Video from: Hawaii News Now