A great white shark swimming near a patrol boat was captured in overhead video off a famous Western Australian beach and the view gave perspective as to the shark's size, and its size was massive.
Dave Riggs, who operates the filmmaking company Riggs Australia with his wife, shot video from a drone showing a 27.5-foot Department of Transportation boat and its occupants watching the great white shark as it swims nearby. The shark was only 55 yards off the beach of Twilight Cove in Esperance.
"She is estimated to be nearly 20-feet long and over 30 years of age," the description on Vimeo reads. "Rare footage indeed!"
The Riggs Australia team is described as natural history filmmakers since 1998, and it started with tiger sharks, dugong, turtles and sea snakes followed by bull sharks and crocodiles, and then leopard seals, great white sharks and killer whales.
The great white shark Riggs captured in drone footage Saturday was one of the biggest he's seen in a while, according to The Australian, which reported that Riggs filmed a 13-footer the day before.
The estimates on the second one ranged from 16 to 19 1/2 feet, news.com.au reported.
"This is why I stay out of the ocean," a commenter wrote on Riggs Australia's Instagram post.
The increased frequency of shark sightings close to beaches in the town – where 17-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer was killed in April – has sparked fears of another attack [could] occur this summer…
[Note: It's currently summer in Australia]
Mr Riggs has made documentaries about sharks and is advocating for urgent government action in reducing the risks to ocean users in Esperance, including more acoustic tagging and better warning signs at beaches.
The Weekend Australian reported last Saturday that surfers and other ocean users in Esperance are behind a revolt to try to stop another attack in the area, where thousands of tourists will visit this summer.
The number of shark sightings has remained high in recent months high and there are fears that the recent discovery of a whale carcass at the surfing and camping spot of Alexander Bay, 80km to the east of town, is attracting more sharks closer to shore.
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