Sharks are very common in South Africa.
Like just recently, during the WSL’s Corona Open J-Bay, when a shark cruised through the lineup full of pro surfers, sniffing around. And then, of course, there was the infamous encounter between 3x World Champion Mick Fanning and a great white mid-heat, back in 2015, about which he recently admitted, “I was extremely lucky.”
But this next one, and especially the story that goes along with it, is pretty intense.
Drone operator and wildlife documenter Sharyn Hodges takes it away:
“l am lost for words.
“I honestly thought I was going to witness a shark attack. I was shaking whilst taking footage and screaming (for what I have no idea).
“My battery was about 8 minutes left and well if you have a drone you know that’s more like five minutes. I saw some dolphins swimming rather quickly so I thought I would get some slow mo action and I could see they were heading to another small pod so I thought let me fly a bit higher and get the two pods joining.
“Little did I know there was a HUGE great white in the middle as they circled him and dived under and over him.
“I had a decision to make, bring the drone home for a battery change or stay for another five minutes. I came home in a stress and flew out again.
“At this stage my heart was pounding and I was so stressed. How do I let the surfers know that there a shark approaching. I just stayed with them and told my myself whatever happens. Happens. Obviously believing that the shark will do what I always thought it would, be curious and turn. And knowing that the dolphins were there as back up. I really believed that this was something incredibly special that I was witnessing.
“Moment of truth. The shark approached the surfers, my controller was shaking in my hands. I was freaking out!!!!!!
“But the shark just casually went up to the surfer and turned away, but it looked like he was turning back towards the surfer, but a couple of dolphins made sure he was headed another direction.
“I am blown away by nature. Every single day I learn something new. Always surprising me.”
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