A man flying a drone off California’s Pismo State Beach was able to capture striking footage this weekend of a 10-foot-long shark as it swam dangerously close to a group of surfers.
The video is the work of Dustin McCaslin, a Bakersfield man visiting the Central Coast, according to KSBY. McCaslin was flying his drone over the surf on Saturday, recording a group of surfers from several angles, when he spotted the shark. At first confusing it for a piece of seaweed, McCaslin zoomed in closely with his drone’s camera, capturing the silhouette of the shark as it made its way through the waves.
Despite its startling proximity to the seemingly unaware surfers, the shark made no attempt to approach them, as Uproxx points out. McCaslin continued to film for several minutes, capturing the astonishing image of a surfer paddling out to sea and then catching a wave back to shore, coming within just a few feet of the shark. Despite the animal’s proximity to him, the beachgoer appears to have been totally unaware of its presence.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 11, 2015
Once McCaslin realized that he was filming a shark, he reportedly took the footage to a local lifeguard, alerting him of the animal’s presence. He reportedly estimated the shark to be between eight- to nine-feet-long, a common size for young great whites that are often found off the California coastline.
— Chris Mottram (@ChrisMottram) August 11, 2015
Earlier this year, authorities in Seal Beach began to employ a drone to detect white sharks, after an unusually large population of juvenile great whites moved into the area. As the Inquisitr previously reported, officials noted that the drones cut down on both costs and time requirements, negating the need to send a lifeguard into the water in an attempt to detect the sharks.
Whoa! Drone footage shooting surfers records 10-foot shark lurking at Pismo State Beach: http://t.co/JCwAbQx2bT pic.twitter.com/lbz8JZT3fk
— Jonathan Forsythe (@jforsythe23) August 11, 2015
Once a shark is sighted by the drone, it can then be tracked by lifeguards, who are able to zoom in on the animal and determine whether it is appropriate to close local beaches. Researchers off Cape Cod have also voiced their intention to attempt using drones to track a regional population of great white sharks, though some barriers to the project do remain.
[Image via YouTube/ Dustin McCaslin]