A great white shark came within a metre of a man surfing at Lighthouse Beach, NSW and the close encounter was caught on camera. A #Drone captured footage of the shark charging at the surfer before turning his attention to another man paddling nearby. The beach located near Ballina is a known hotspot for shark attacks.
The great white shark charged at the surfer
The surfer was dangling his feet in the water waiting to catch another wave when the shark appears to make a beeline for him. The footage then shows the shark darting away without harming the man or the other surfer nearby. It seems that the surfers are entirely unaware of the shark's presence as it swam up from behind them.
The footage was captured during the Australian summer
The NSW Government took the drone footage as an initiative to detect sharks in the water. Drone pilots situated themselves on a cliff in Coffs Harbour about 60 metres above the ocean surface and flew the drones within a five-kilometre radius. After capturing the footage of the shark charging at the men, the pilots notified authorities and lifeguards in the area. The Ballina beach, located along the NSW north coast was selected as part of the trial due to the area being prone to shark attacks.
There have been 11 attacks at Ballina since 2014
There have been a reported 11 shark attacks at Ballina since 2014, two of which resulted in fatalities. There has been an increase in shark attacks over the last year, and in December, Byron Bay High School halted all ocean-based sports in the area. The High School put a stop to ocean-based activities after many sightings and attacks which occurred in September and October. Cooper Allen, 17, Seneca Rus, 25 and Jade Fitzpatrick, 36, were all attacked in the area last year.
The government introduced shark nets in December
Following the string of attacks, the government introduced shark net in late December, which has so far been a successful initiative in preventing the sharks from attacking humans. Since the introduction of the shark nets, there have been no reported attacks along the north coast. Reports indicate that the nets have effectively stopped many great whites since being placed in the area.