Video: Great white shark breaches off South Africa’s coast

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A magnificent great white leaps from the water to take a chunk out of a would-be seal.

These amazing full breaches were conceived using a plastic seal decoy – which is dragged behind a tourist diving boat, as a way of enticing the hungry .

Shot by filmmaker Mark van Coller in False Bay, Cape Town, the footage demonstrates the frightening power and agility of the iconic maneater.

But achieving such incredible shots is only possible if the conditions are right.

He said: “We filmed just before and just after sunrise, as this is the most active time for the sharks to hunt.

“During this time the seals and our seal decoy form a good silhouette for the sharks to target, but the water is still very dark, making it very difficult for the seals to spot the predators.

“This gives the sharks a big advantage during these hours.

“On a good morning you can get anywhere from one to six breaches on the decoy – this is obviously dependent on many factors such as sea conditions, weather and seal activity in the water.”

The South African added that one lapse in concentration can result in a missed opportunity – such is the speed of the great white.

“It all happens in seconds. There have been occasions when the boat has pulled the decoy for close to an hour with no breaches.

“But you dare not take your eye off your viewfinder and the decoy because that is always when it happens. You turn around to say something to someone and smash, you missed it.

“It is much too quick to be able to pick up the camera and record. By that time it is all over.”

This article was first published by The Telegraph on 10 Dec 2014

 

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Supertrooper

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Julie Zickefoose

While it's exciting to see an entire great white shark out of water, I sincerely hope that South African tourist boats do not continue this practice. Shall we drag a fake gazelle behind a Jeep for the cheetahs? We wouldn't think of wasting the precious energy reserves of a mammalian predator in this way–why is it all right to dupe sharks into explosive effort just to get dramatic video? I ask this as someone who will be taking a tourist group to South Africa in 2015.

Doris Charles

Wild predator of the seas as on land, hunting for seal the lion of the seas.

Paul Seligman
Paul Seligman

Exciting footage, ridiculous music and I'm not sure about ethics of using decoy seals. Making animals waste effort on unproductive hunts. It's not adding to scientific knowledge,.

Mark McCandlish

Once upon a time, I was an avid scuba diver. I never shot anything unless it was with my camera in an underwater housing. After the movie “Jaws” came out, I spent a lot of time looking over my shoulder when I was below. My most worrisome times came while waiting for the dive boat to pull along side while floating over the deep dark waters off the California Channel Islands. You couldn’t offer me enough money to do that off Cape Town South Africa!