Heart-stopping footage shows the moment a diver had to fight off a great white shark that rushed towards him with its teeth bared.
Joe Petrovich was spearfishing off the coast of Perth, Australia, with some friends last month when the four-and-a-half-metre-long beast appeared in close proximity to the diver.
Shark-lovers often rightly point out sharks don’t regularly attack humans but unfortunately this particular great white slotted itself into the ‘terrifying killer’ stereotype the moment it turned its attention to the diver.
Check out the intense video here:
You can almost hear the Jaws music, can’t you?
Though Joe had gone diving from a boat, he had unfortunately made the decision to stray about 300 metres away from the vessel as he attempted to hunt down a school of pink snapper fish.
Naturally, the shark chose this point in time to emerge out of the depths. At first the huge creature, thought to weigh approximately 400kg, appeared to be swimming past Joe but it wasn’t long before it tilted its head towards the diver as if attempting to get a good understanding of what the human was up to.
Joe could be seen angling his spear towards the shark, presumably to show he had a weapon at hand, but the creature wasn’t deterred as it turned in the direction of the diver.
It rapidly approached Joe and opened its mouth to attack, its viciously sharp teeth primed and ready to cause some damage. Thankfully he managed to fend off the beast, though his panic was clear as he thrashed about in the water.
The great white continued to swim about nearby, though it’s likely Joe didn’t want to swim away in case the beast pursued him. Later in the video he could be seen jabbing his spear in the direction of the beast as it closed in once again.
According to the National Geographic, when great whites attack humans they are often not fatal encounters, as research finds the sharks, who are naturally curious, are ‘sample biting’ before releasing their victims, rather than preying on humans.
In this particular situation it’s easy to assume the shark may have felt threatened by the weapon Joe was wielding at it, suggesting it may have lunged out of fear.
The stand-off lasted nine minutes before the fisherman was able to escape back to the safety of the boat, thankfully with all of his limbs still intact.
While the experience was probably terrifying, at least Joe got a good story out of it!