A surfing competition in Australia was briefly suspended after a large shark breached the surface of the water amid the stunned competitors, and the bizarre scene was captured in a lucky photograph.
The Coffs Harbour Boardriders Club competition was underway at Macauley’s Beach in New South Wales on Sunday, according to ABC, when photographer Steph Bellamy captured the unusual image of a shark breaching the surface. As a group of mothers entered the surf for a special heat, Bellamy noticed a disturbance in the water.
“I took a shot but as I stood up there was a splash and I thought ‘what was that?’ and hit the button to take another photograph,” she noted.
“Then I heard the judges say ‘wow, what was that?’ And I expanded the shot out so I could have a look and it was as plain as day there was a major photobomb from a beautiful creature of our planet.
“It was a shark, and quite a large one.”
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 1, 2014
As the Telegraph reports, the competition was suspended for 10 to 15 minutes by judges, before it resumed with eager surfers re-entering the water. Though authorities were unsure if the shark was a spinner, a thresher or a mako shark, swimmers described the predator as eight feet long, with black coloring and a white underbelly. Bellamy’s photograph was sent to the state government so that any potential threat could be assessed.
According to Bellamy, the shark breached the surface of the water twice, and she was lucky enough to catch her photograph on its second jump. She believed the shark was likely chasing a fish, rather than the surfers, when it erupted from the ocean.
— Telegraph News (@TelegraphNews) December 1, 2014
“When everyone saw my photo they said ‘oh my god, oh my god, it’s not a dolphin, it’s not a tuna, it’s actually a shark'”
Earlier this year, a man filming a surfer in Brazil was startled when a large spinner shark erupted from the surf near his friend, twisting in the air before plunging back into the sea. As the Inquisitr noted, the unique style of attack exhibited by spinner sharks often drives them out of the ocean at high speed as they pursue prey.
Though the crowd was startled by the shark in their midst, Bellamy asserts that all of the surfers remained calm.
[Image: Steph Bellamy via ABC]