Unique footage of a cage diving expedition off South Africa has emerged, revealing a great white shark lunging out of the sea as it attacks bait on an overcast day off the coast of Gansbaai.
As Shark Attack News notes, the video was taken on board Mike Rutzen’s boat in November. A well-known shark advocate and conservationist, Rutzen has earned the nickname “Sharkman” for his expertise in free diving around the predators. His group, Shark Diver Unlimited, works out of Gansbaai, as one of South Africa’s premier cage diving operators.
The video, posted to YouTube by neenenoos, is uniquely lit, taken on an overcast day. It documents Shark Diver Unlimited’s crew chumming the water before a large white shark approaches their boat, circling them. Several underwater shots depict the great white moving through the murky water amid schools of fish as it investigates the cage, before bait is tossed in the water, striking the predator’s interest.
Pursuing the bait, the white shark is lured near the cage, apparently even brushing against its side at one point. The great white’s dorsal fin breaks the surface repeatedly as it circles near the enclosure. After chasing the bait for some time, the white shark lunges out of the water, breaching the surface several times as it wrestles with the bait handler.
Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Photo by Thomas P. Peschak. pic.twitter.com/dSBimgXIha
— Don Ogden (@zuxulelizi) November 24, 2014
Cage diving, though common in South Africa and other parts of the world, is not without its critics. A photo of a great white taken in South Africa this summer ignited controversy, as some observers questioned whether the practice could be harmful to sharks. Dr. Greg Skomal, who studies great whites for the state of Massachusetts, told National Geographic at the time that he believed there was little possibility that the sharks could be injured. Noting their resilience, Skomal observed that a greater danger exists in training white sharks to associate humans with food over the long term.
“In my opinion, it’s not likely the shark would be injured by the cage,” he said.
Video of a great white shark ramming its way through a cage is nightmare fuel http://t.co/6ZotIa0ug3 pic.twitter.com/4bprmE9FQN
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 28, 2014
The possibility of a white shark striking a cage during a dive always exists, and over the summer, several videos showing those interactions emerged. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a great white was filmed inadvertently biting into a cage as it attacked bait during one dive, leaving one of the bars wrenched out of place. During another dive this year, a great white shark was filmed ramming a cage head-on.
[Image: YouTube via Shark Attack News]