In Australia, a drone captures footage of a five-foot white shark inches away from pro surfer Matt Wilkinson.
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October 8, 2020 2 min read
There’s nothing like a close call to make you appreciate success. In the case of World Championship Tour surfer Matt Wilkinson, success came in the form of not getting nipped during a close encounter with an inquisitive great white shark near the town of Ballina in Australia.
“I was surfing out the back at Sharpes Beach and just cruising on my own and I heard a splash and a noise and looked around and couldn’t see anything,” Wilkinson told Surflifesaving.com. “Then the drone came down and told me that there was a dangerous shark in the area, return to the beach.”
Wilkinson says he was shocked when he saw the footage, not realizing how close the shark came. “It looks like it’s going for my leg and it’s changed its mind.”
The drone or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was on a routine surveillance flight. A built-in speaker warned Wilkinson that there was a dangerous shark in the area, and he should swim back to shore.
Wilkinson says he feels grateful and “pretty weird” about the close encounter. He noted that his wife has requested that he not go surfing for a couple of days.