“I heard, like, the sound of its tail and I kinda looked back and I was like, ‘No, there’s nothing there.I had some weird vibes and just convinced myself that it was all good, as you always do when you’re out in the surf.”.'” –Matt Wilkinson
A great white shark is seen circling to within inches of pro surfer Matt Wilkinson off the tourist town of Ballina, Australia before darting away in a chilling encounter captured by a drone. The Evening Standard reports Matt was oblivious to the peril until the overhead drone broadcast a recorded warning that a dangerous shark was nearby and everyone must leave the water.
Drone operator Beau Monks of Surf Life Saving NSW said he was frightened when he saw the shark rise from the deep through the drone camera, then turn and quickly close in on Mr Wilkinson. Monks had this to say about the encountner:
“I’m not entirely sure why the shark decided to turn away at the last minute. It could be something as simple as bumping into his leg rope or it might have been the drone. Marine creatures have been known to dart away when a drone does come over.”
Ballina has become notorious for shark attacks in recent years and drones are patrolling Ballina beaches for sharks every day of the current school holiday period. Close call, excellent work by Beau Monks of the drone patrol.