An Australian surfer came under fire for a bit of tomfoolery, which could have ended tragically. Harrison Williams apologized for his exploits over the weekend when he indulged in a foolhardy act: the man surfed a floating dead whale carcass. “Unbeknownst” to him, a swarm of sharks were encircling and feeding on its bloated and rotting flesh. The video has gone viral, but authorities — and his mother — admonished him for endangering his life and possibly attracting future copycat behavior over the stunt.
Why would a man surf a dead whale brimming with the stench of rotting flesh? According to a CNN report, Harrison was out on a boat off Perth beach when they saw a dead humpback whale floating at the surface. And what the Australian man did next was death-defying, and that’s putting it lightly.
“Out on the boat with the boys and one of my mates thought it’d be pretty funny if I surfed the whale, so I just did it.”
The thrill-seeking Aussie surfer dove into the water and quickly clambered the body of the dead whale that was missing large swaths of flesh, apparently from opportunistic aquatic creatures. Having mounted the whale and established his footing, his pals on the boat yelled about sharks encircling the animal.
“Hazza! There’s sharks there! Come back!” yelled one of his friends aboard the vessel.
Reportedly, several tiger sharks and at least one massive great white shark were seen gorging themselves on the easy and free sea buffet. Later, the easy-going surfer said he saw at least one shark, but reasoned it was too busy “chomping” on its quarry to be worried about his presence.
Tony Cappelluti, a spokesperson with the Department of Fisheries, said the carcass washed up on the beach Sunday and will be removed by council workers using heavy machinery. The department spoke out against the surfer’s behavior, but said no charges would be filed. Since the whale was dead and Harrison didn’t remove any portions of its body, he escaped prosecution.
Later, the man who surfed the dead whale showed remorse for having pulled off the act and regrets his involvement for the short moment of thrills. He says his mother thinks the act was foolish and dangerous.
Her reaction: “I’m an idiot,” the whale surfer said. What’s more, his dad agrees.
Thankfully, the backlash from the man surfing the dead whale caused him to have a change of heart. He pledges never to take part in stunts like that again.
“I’ve done it. Don’t need to do it again.”
[Image via: Pedestrian]