A large great white shark chased a group of surfers out of the water and onto the rocks at a NSW South Coast point break on Saturday.
The video was posted to Instagram by South Coast based filmer Dane Pidgeon, with the caption: “Old mate wanted the waves to himself.”
“Nothing clears the lineup quite like a rapidly advancing shark coming your way… then following you onto the rocks.”
Dane told DMARGE: “It’s the second shark I have filmed in the area. I don’t have the footage of the other one though. The video you’ve seen… I see sharks at that wave all the time.”
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The clip was filmed an hour or two south of Jervis Bay – a popular tourist town on NSW’s South Coast.
In the video you can see a wave breaking, then, behind it, four surfers padding into the rocks real fast, followed by what looks to be a very large shark.
One of those surfers, Musician Hein Cooper, took to Instagram and explained how it felt, describing the fin he saw as the size of a MacBook Pro, and saying “we’re almost 100% positive that it was between 4-5 metres long and it was a Great White.”
Watch Hein talk about the experience in the video below
Hein also wrote on Instagram: “Absolutely life changing experience. 2 days ago Myself and a couple of mates were chased in by a big old Great White whilst surfing at home.
“I was out off a point break with 5-6 others in the mid afternoon in a remote location. I turned to see a large fin coming up the headland from the beach (around 30 metres away). It was slightly tipping over which made me think it could be a seal (apparently that’s something whites do when they’re looking for food in the shallows…).”
“I turned away for a moment then looked back again to double check what I’d seen. It was considerable closer, moving towards us but in a relaxed way. I was much more certain it was a shark this time. I mentioned it to @genjipitt who was right next to me and he saw it himself. He replied that he thought it was a seal and then another guy chimed in and mentioned there’s been word of a few sharks around lately. Then, we all looked over and what happened next I will never forget.”
“A large fin around 30-40cm tall (it was the length of my MacBook Pro from one side of the screen to the other) moving straight for us around 7-8 metres away. I could see scars on the fin and patches of white which apparently means it wasn’t a juvenile. And the boys did some research and called a few people and it looks very much like it was a GWS around 3.5-4 metres long. So this thing was moving straight for us. I shouted ‘SHARK’ and we all paddled for our Lives straight onto the rocks 😂..”
“Now for some reason the shark actually went around us and only really moved in once it reached our flank and the video footage confirms it. If it had wanted too it could have been on any of us within a couple seconds. I think the kicking and scrambling made it cautious for a moment and when it had made up its mind we were all up on the rocks.”
“What has stayed with me most is the energy and presence it had. Absolutely magnificent creature showing us who’s really boss. Very grateful that we all made it out and of course now I’ve got a good story to tell 😂 The footage doesn’t represent the shark well but you can see that even once we were up the rocks it was coming for us!”
Hein was also interviewed by BeachGrit, which first picked up the story on Sunday, telling them: “I’ll never forget that moment when we saw the fin. I feel honoured by that. You see dolphins all the time, it’s magical, and seals, but to be in the water with a big shark like that was a whole new level of heightened experience.”
“I surfed again yesterday and I was fine. I thought about it a few times but, and maybe this is coming from my ignorance and the unreality of it, but it didn’t feel like we were in any danger. Obviously, if it bit someone and we had to make a tourniquet on someone’s leg and carry ‘em up the volcanic rocks and drive half-an-hour to a hospital it wouldn’t have been the same.”
“I’ll never forget the energy around it. It carried this aura of it being so calmly confidence in what it was and we were just little peasants floating about the surface being heavily educated about our position in the world. That, despite all our creations and all the things we build up around us to feel secure, it doesn’t mean a thing in nature.”
“It was healthy reminder that we are a part of it all.”
9News.com.au recently reported that “the world’s largest shark management program will be rolled out along New South Wales’ beaches this summer, including a fleet of new shark-spotting drones.”
“The program, which is designed to minimise the impact on marine life by using ‘non-invasive technologies’, will use the world’s largest domestic fleet of drones as well as 100 SMART (shark management alert in real time) drumlines to detect sharks at beaches and keep people safe,” (9News.com.au).