SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS

By Tom Watts
Macomb Daily Staff Writer
April 12, 2004
©The Macomb Daily 2004
reprinted by permission
Tom and Mary Ann Hosey are avid divers who take annual trips around the world with other members of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Scuba Divers.
The group dives once a year in exotic destinations such as the Fiji Islands, Coco Island, the Great Barrier Reef or the Galapagos Islands. But what sets this group apart is that each trip is highlighted by a financial contribution the divers make to projects in a particular region of the world.

"We gave $2,500 to a conservation project in Papua, New Guinea, that will go to local children and their schools," said Tom Hosey, a podiatrist with offices in Mount Clemens and Clinton Township. "We try to give back to the community where we dive."

Mary Ann Hosey said the group has raised more than $10,000 for humanitarian efforts the last 14 years.

The Hoseys, Tom is a former member of the Mount Clemens Rotary Club and Mary Ann is a current member, admit diving is a hobby, but they have taken it one step further than a swim through peaceful waters and beautiful reefs.

"We watched sharks feed on tuna," said Tom, noting he and his wife were inside a shark-proof cage as tuna blood attracted a frenzy of feeding sharks. "It was incredible."

Mary Ann, an administrator for the Clinton Township Board of Trustees, said she witnessed two white tip reef sharks mating on a recent trip — a rarity to see.

"They circle around the female until she lets one of the males bite down on her fin, and they corkscrew down into the deep ocean," she said. "You don't see sharks mating very often."

A rule of thumb for the pair is "never touch the reef."

"We have great respect for the reefs," Tom said. "To be out there in the reef, no phones, no communication, because you're on a boat in a Third World country. To me, it's a great feeling."

This year, the group travels to Bali.