Zach Berman, a 14-year-old drone pilot from Plettenberg Bay on the Western Cape’s south coast, has captured footage of a large great white shark circling surfers which would scare anyone out of the water.
Berman, who aims to become a wildlife drone photographer, said he was monitoring shark activity with his father at Plettenberg Bay when they saw the great white.
“At first, I was struggling to comprehend what I was seeing,” he said. “It began to make its way towards the surfers and I feared for the worse; I really didn’t know what was going to happen.”
“It was very crazy. Holding a remote control, seeing a shark circling the surfers was quite crazy,” Berman said. “It was beyond my wildest dreams.”
“The one surfer was facing the other direction and didn’t even realise that the shark was right by his foot.”
However, the surfers were initially unaware of the shark swimming just beneath the surface. It was only after a paddler noticed the danger that the surfers started leaving the area – but some of them returned not long afterwards.
“When everyone was safely on the beach, I showed them the footage and they just could not believe what they were seeing,” Berman said.
“One guy in particular was in shock. The shark was directly in front of him yet he did not even know it was there.
“With this video, we’re trying to get the message out to surfers that it is shark time so if you are surfing, don’t be alone, and just be aware and on the lookout. There’s a lot of sharks at this beach, a lot of great whites,” Berman said.
His footage was taken more or less at the same time as the sardine run along the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, where sharks came up very close to people trying to catch sardines.
Four or five sharks swam up to the people, including children, who had entered the water to try and grab their share of the little silver fish at Rocky Bay near Scottburgh, reported the South Coast Herald.
The footage was recorded by someone standing on the Rocky Bay pier and viewing the action from above.
The video, showing sharks swimming near the shore while a net full of fish is hauled in, made the rounds on social media platforms such as Facebook and on WhatsApp groups.