Drone Footage Shows Moment Surfer Is Stalked By Great White Shark
Terrifying footage shows the moment a professional surfer was stalked by a huge shark, just off an Australian beach:
Matt Wilkinson was surfing off Sharpes Beach when they life-saving drone caught a great white shark swimming within just a few inches of him.
It was scared off by an emergency alarm just before it could be seen approaching Wilkinson's legs. It darted away at the very last minute after the drone let off the sound.
Although he had heard the warning, he was still - understandably - quite shocked to see it so close.
He said: "I heard a splash and a noise and looked around and couldn't see anything.
"I got to the shore feeling a bit weird and the lifeguards showed me the footage and I realised how close it came without knowing it was there. It looks like it's going for my leg and it's changed its mind."
When the alarm was raised, the whole beach was evacuated, with it staying closed until the following day.
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Matt added: "I feel grateful and pretty weird at the same time but happy it decided not to go me. When I saw the footage I saw the similarities, like I had a yellow leg rope on and Mick's board was yellow is what I was thinking about when I came in.
"I called my wife because I didn't want her to see the footage before I saw it. She doesn't want me surfing for a couple of days now."
Beau Monks from the Australian UAV Service said: "It sort of came out of nowhere, then went right up to Matt. It moved pretty fast. I was tracking it and notified the lifeguards and used the speaker on the drone to get everyone out of the water. Within 10 seconds it was at the surfer and five seconds later it was gone.
"I'd spotted a large baitball and some whales and dolphins earlier in the day and had alerted the lifeguards to that."
Surf lifesavers have been used in Australia since 2016, where they work alongside the drones to scan beaches for sharks and other animals, including crocodiles
They're also used to spot other dangers, letting lifeguards know if swimmers are in danger. They sometimes drop inflatable devices for the swimmers to hold on to.
They've also been used to drop dye into the ocean so that rip currents can be seen by lifeguards and beachgoers, so they know which areas to avoid.
Featured Image Credit: Surf Life Saving NSW
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