Divers Fend Off Hammerhead Shark In Harrowing Footage

Video of a group of spearfishermen fending off an inquisitive hammerhead shark, filmed last year, has re-emerged online following an unusual number of interactions with the predators this summer.

The clip was originally recorded in early October of last year near Anacapa Island, as the Inquisitr reported at the time. It depicts a group of anglers who were spearfishing for yellowtail, when they noticed an 8-foot-long hammerhead shark circling their boat. The fishermen then used bait to lure the shark closer, before two of them, including swimmer Forrest Galante, entered the water with the predator.

In footage filmed from the perspective of one of the divers, the hammerhead can be seen circling the pair while they utilize a speargun to keep it at bay. After the anglers entered the water with the shark, they quickly realized that the hammerhead was in an agitated state, and unafraid of approaching them.

“Only when we hopped into the water was it really evident that he was fired up. He came straight in to the point we were pulling our fins in keeping our limbs close to our body,” Galante observed.

The spearfishermen were able to safely exit the water after just a few minutes with the shark, and video of their encounter quickly spread after it was posted online. The clip has resurfaced recently after it was published by TMZ, following a summer that has seen a marked increase in shark incidents along the East Coast of the United States. Over eight attacks have taken place in North Carolina alone, along a coastline that typically sees just one to two shark bites per year. While it is unclear if any of those incidents are attributable to hammerhead sharks, several of them have been noted for their severity and proximity to one another.

Several species of hammerhead swim the world’s oceans, yet they usually pose little threat to humans, as the Daily Beast reports. Earlier this year, however, a hammerhead shark frightened beachgoers out of the water after it approached the shoreline at Ocean City, remaining in the area for nearly a full day. Though the animal was monitored by beach patrol officers, researchers asserted that the hammerhead may have been injured, citing the shark’s apparent indifference to humans and willingness to approach swimmers.

[Image: YouTube / Sturgill Spearfishing via Twitter]