An Australian UFC fighter has recounted his close encounter with a massive shark, believed to be a great white, while surfing in South Australia, as his friends assert that the predator which chased them from the waves was as large as a whale.
Richie Vaculik was surfing off the country’s southern coast with Mark Mathews and Ryan Hipwood when the trio were approached by a large shark, according to MMA Kanvas. In a video posted to Instagram by Garage Films, a shark’s fin can be seen cutting through the water’s surface near the men.
“You’re always thinking about sharks when your surfing down that way. I had just caught a wave and as I was paddling back out and saw the two other boys, Mark Mathews and Ryan Hipwood paddling as hard as they could towards me, I didn’t even have to ask I just turned and started doing the same.”
The three men were filming for an upcoming season of The Crew-Generation Two when they encountered the large shark, which swam by mere feet from them, according to Surfer’s Village. Mathews asserted that the shark was incredibly big, even for a great white.
“Richie and I had just taken off on a wave,” he said. “Then Ryan and I were sitting out the back and I swear what I saw was a shark the size of a whale.”
— David McGuire (@SHARKSTEWARDS) March 11, 2015
Vaculik’s friends began yelling and screaming about the monstrous shark they had just sighted, moving fast to exit the surf and escape the dangerous situation. Waiting on the beach until another local surfer headed into the water, the trio briefly returned to the sea before calling it a day.
“We ended up joining him for a few more waves but it was a little tense. I was pretty happy to get back on land,” Vaculik recalled.
— qldsocialpics (@qldsocialpics) March 13, 2015
Large sharks are far from unusual in the ocean surrounding Australia. Earlier this year, a white shark of exceptional size closed beaches in Newcastle, preying upon the local dolphin population. As the Inquisitr previously reported, lifeguards observed that the shark was so large, no comparable animal had ever been spotted before in the region.
Though Vaculik noted that he didn’t see the monster shark himself, the UFC fighter pointed to the looks on his friends faces as they padded to shore as evidence of the predator’s massive size.
[Image: Garage Films via Surfer’s Village]