Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Diana Nyad has a team of four experienced shark divers who are responsible for protecting her against curious sharks.

Led by Luke Tipple, the quartet of knights in white armor include Nico Gazzale, Matteo Gazzale and Andy Olday.

Their weapon of choice was a pole with a golf ball at the end.

The men stand alert on Nyad’s boat on constant alert. They regularly schedule a sweep of the immediate area with their pole and golf ball.

Tipple and his team are not going to hurt, shoot or spear curious sharks in any shark encounter. Rather, because they understand shark behavior, they will approach the sharks and will gentle prod and push the sharks away from Nyad. In Nyad’s last attempt in the Florida Straits in 2011, shark diver Jonathan Rose helped steer a curious Oceanic White Tip shark away from Nyad.

These are real-life bodyguards in the Caribbean Sea. “Our goal is to protect Nyad while respecting the ocean and its natural inhabitants,” said Tipple.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association