Incredible footage released Wednesday showed a great white shark baring its teeth as it pounced on a lure hanging from a tourist boat in Mossel Bay, South Africa, just six feet from an underwater videographer filming with a GoPro camera.
“I get a sense of excitement every time I see a great white shark,” British videographer and dive crew member Mark Graham told British news agency Media Drum World. “Sharks approach the boat, often curiously probing the people in the cage to figure out what they are.
“This particular shark was maybe six to nine feet from the boat,” he added.
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Graham captured his footage from an underwater cage, along with footage taken aboard the boat, during a shark tour and dive with guests eager to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most feared predators.
However, the videographer is passionate about these underwater creatures and works hard to change people’s misperceptions when it comes to sharks.
“I think humans have an instinctive fear of what they can’t see and don’t understand,” she said. “I think the mainstream media has a big role in perpetuating and exaggerating negative stories about shark encounters. I don’t think the reputation is justified.”
Graham pointed out that every year more and more people enter the ocean and in 2022 there have been only five fatal shark attacks.
“While humans kill over 11,000 sharks an hour,” he explained. “Sharks are just sharks, they are animals they are not monsters, learn to appreciate them for what they are, not what you think they are.
“If you get the chance to see them in the wild, go see them, I guarantee your perception will change,” he added.
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Though Graham has been on many shark dives and tours, he said this encounter was different, noting that great whites are usually tentative and slow to approach the boat.
The experienced diver was thrilled to see not only did the shark chase the lure so ferociously, but he noticed that four other great whites approached the cage and circled the boat without being propelled by the lure or the Friend.
The sharks opened their jaws and came within six feet of the cage to investigate, intrigued by the encounter.
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“It was incredibly exciting,” Graham said, noting that none of the guests felt scared, and even those tired of getting in the water eventually got inside the cage to see the sharks underwater.
“Great white sharks are extremely slow and curious most of the time and stay just below the surface to investigate the boat and cage,” Graham explained. “So when we have active days, where great whites show how effective they are as predators by coming out of the water and lunging for the bait, it’s amazing to see.”