Drone Footage Captures Great White Shark Speeding Toward Surfer in San Diego - LaJolla.com

Drone Footage Captures Great White Shark Speeding Toward Surfer in San Diego

Video captured by a drone shows a great white shark in San Diego speeding toward a surfer sitting on her board.

Although the oceans off the coast of San Diego offer some of the best surfing in the U.S., they’re also home to a plethora of aquatic creatures — including great whites.

One such close encounter between a surfer and a great white shark in San Diego was captured recently by Scott Fairchild, a local oceanic photographer and shark advocate.

In the clip, a woman sits on her shortboard waiting for a wave to come in as a great white shark seemingly makes a beeline toward her. The shark gets relatively close to the San Diego surfer before speeding away in the opposite direction.

Courtesy of @scott_fairchild

Even though the surfer appeared to notice the drone flying overhead, she didn’t seem to notice the great white shark swimming just feet away in San Diego waters.

As a shark advocate, Fairchild also shared some details on apparent shark behavior in the comments of the clip, which he shared on his Instagram.

For example, when asked whether the shark swam away because it was scared by the surfer, Fairchild replied:

“Not sure if they are ‘fearful’ in the way we are – but yes, I think there is some truth to that. Self-preservation comes first for animals and particularly Whites,” he wrote.

The photographer also offered some anecdotal information on the potential dangers of splashing around a great white shark in San Diego.

“I see lots of splashing with little to no shark interest. Sure an initial splash can attract them (or make them leave actually like when a surfer crashes) but a non-prey item is a non-prey item,” he wrote. “Yes, we shouldn’t splash around sharks, there’s no upside to doing that. But it does not mean an exploratory bite comes along with it either.”

Visiting San Diego and interested about sharks? Read our complete guide to great white sharks in California.

Media credit: Banner image of surfers licensed from Adobe

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