A GoPro camera system worth $12,000 is sitting on the ocean floor, thanks to the bite of not one, but two great white sharks; and the company behind the 360 degree filming apparatus is offering a reward for its recovery from the shark infested waters.
Wildlife photographer Andy Casagrande was filming great whites off the coast of New Zealand, obtaining footage for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week when the incident took place, according to the Daily Mail. Using a 360 degree GoPro scuba rig, the Emmy-award winning cameraman watched from within the safety of a shark cage as a great white “engulfed” the cameras. After a moment, the great white “realized it wasn’t a natural prey item and decide to regurgitate it.”
— Telegraph Pictures (@TelegraphPics) September 3, 2014
Another shark, however, was nearby, and moved in for what would turn out to be a devastating bite. The second great white also engulfed the apparatus, and while releasing it, the animal’s teeth ripped the rig from the handle Casagrande was using. Despite his efforts, it tumbled into the depths below.
The camera system, supplied and owned by 360Heros, consisted of six GoPros, worth $400 each, and scuba gear valued at more than $10,000. In a caps-locked email, Casagrande informed Michael Kintner, the start-up company’s CEO, of the loss:
I ONLY JUST NOW BUILT UP THE COURAGE TO TELL YOU – BUT WHILE SHOOTING WITH THE 360 RIG- AFTER SHOOTING AWESOME TOPSIDE & BEHIND THE SCENES 360 – I TOOK THE RIG UNDERWATER & AFTER AN HOUR OF GETTING AWESOME FOOTAGE – I PUSHED THE ENVELOPE TOO FAR & AN AGGRESSIVE WHITE SHARK BIT & LITERALLY ATE THE 360 – COMPLETELY – ALL 6 CAMERAS IN ONE BITE.
The incident isn’t the first time great whites have taken a curious bite out of camera equipment. As The Inquisitr reported, a robotic submersible camera built to trail tagged great whites captured amazing footage in the Gulf of Mexico when the sharks turned on it. In several filmed interactions, the great whites bit into the submersible, either to determine if it was prey or attacking it outright.
360Heros is currently offering a $5,000 reward for the return of their camera rig and its SD cards, according to a post on the company’s website. The statement also makes it clear that 360Heros doesn’t hold Casagrande responsible, as “the shark attack was a freak accident. He’d risked his life and safety in an attempt to capture the historic footage and when you take a step back from the accident, you just have to be glad everyone involved walked away safely.” According to them, “months of preparation and planning” became “an expensive snack,” thanks to one hungry great white shark.
[Image via 360Heros]