Drone photographer Matt Woods is used to sending his drone over the ocean to capture stunning wildlife shots. However, he never could’ve guessed what he’d capture while filming one day.
36-year-old Woods shared on Instagram that he decided to “go for one last flight” on Sunday around 4:00 PM.
As soon as his drone was in the air over Bondi Beach in Australia, he spotted a Mako shark circling in the water below.
He shared that, at first, it took him a minute to figure out what was happening, but then realized the truth: The shark was circling a diver, who was frantically using a speargun to defend themself.
Woods was familiar enough with sharks to notice its concerning behavior, and he knew he needed to call for help. He said, “The shark was more than likely after the fish but looked pretty active.”
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
After calling the authorities, he continued to monitor the situation from above.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, he explained that as he watched, the shark began to charge the diver’s float and was “trying to bite it, thrashing it about.”
After about 30 minutes, the lifeguards showed up on jet skis and got the shark to swim away from the diver. The diver was, thankfully, unharmed, and scrambled safely onto some rocks.
Woods shared the drone footage on Instagram. Check it out below:
While the footage is definitely terrifying to watch, true unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare. In fact, since 1580, there have only been 9 recorded unprovoked mako shark attacks (only one of which was fatal), according to the Florida Museum.
True shark attacks are so rare, in fact, that officials in Australia are hoping to change the language surrounding “shark attacks,” and refer to them as shark encounters or shark bites instead.
Most shark bites are not actual attacks, but rather, how the shark explores something unknown or new. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a professor with Macquarie University explained, “Sharks don’t have hands so, if they want to explore something, they mouth it.”
While rare, it’s possible that the encounter Woods filmed was a true shark attack. Perhaps the diver was too close to the shark’s food source since they were swimming amongst a school of fish. Or maybe, the diver mistook the shark circling the fish as a threat to themself and that’s why they started using the speargun. We may never know what was truly happening, but either way, we’re glad that the diver made it out ok!Whizzco