Australian divers fend off great white shark with spearguns, knives

When Nathan Podmore and Dave Richards plunged into the ocean off West Australia recently, the last thing they expected to find between them and their small boat was a 12-foot great white shark. The freedivers had planned on spearing some fish — Richards wore a head-cam to record the experience — but instead videotaped a scene showing the divers fending off the circling shark with spearguns and knives.

The incident occurred off Drummond Cove. The pair told the West Australian that they sensed the presence of the shark before they saw it.

“I’d just got into the water and I hadn’t shot a fish or anything and there she was,” Podmore told the newspaper. “She was probably there 25 seconds before we even knew she was there — the video shows it.”

The divers were about 150 feet from their 18-foot boat and instead of attempting to swim for the vessel, they remained calm as the shark circled them three times in a span of three minutes.

They chose not to shoot the shark, thinking that might only invite disaster. But they did jab the predator a couple of times “when she came too close for comfort,” Prodmore said.

The encounter lasted 10 minutes overall and you can see the divers’ genuine expressions of relief on the News 7 video.

Prodmore said: “When we got to the boat I didn’t take my head out of the water until I knew I had a three or four seconds to get on to the boat.”

Richards added: “We got lucky and got away with it. There were other guys diving not far away so we had to go and get them out of the water.”

— Hat tip to Shark Diver

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