Face to Face with a Great White
Two divers in Australia came face to face with a great white shark over the weekend.
Mark Sutcliffe and Jan Busch of the Adelaide University Scuba Club were diving at the Glenelg tyre reef about 6km offshore from Adelaide in South Australia when they were circled by the shark three times.
In a post on the club’s Facebook page, Sutcliffe said it was an “interesting dive”. Once the shark swam away, the divers returned to the surface without their scheduled safety stop on the way up.
Shark sightings are common at this time of year in South Australia. There have been 82 recorded shark attacks in South Australia since the establishment of the colony in 1836. Many of the fatal attacks have been attributed to great white sharks.
The great white shark can grow up to 6.4m (21 ft) in length, although reports have been published of great white sharks measuring over 8m (26 ft) and weighing 3,324kg (7,328 lb).
The great white shark was declared “Vulnerable” by the Australian Government in 1999 due to significant population decline and is currently protected under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. The causes of decline prior to protection included sport fishing and being caught in beach protection netting.
Images: Mark Sutcliffe and Jan Busch on the Adelaide University Scuba Club’s Facebook page