A common fear when swimming in the sea is coming face to face with a shark. Luckily for most of us having a fin circle us in the water remains just that, a fear. But spare a thought for diver John Craig who surfaced off the coast of Western Australia only to find he had lost sight of his boat and had to swim 7.5km back to shore with a shark for company. It was when the 34 year old was calling out to his friend who had been at the wheel of the boat that he first noticed the shark, which he described as being a 4m tiger shark. Using his spear gun as a barrier between himself and the predator, Mr Craig, who was adrift in the appropriately named Shark Bay, began to swim towards a red cliff he could just make out “very low on the horizon”. According to the experienced diver, the shark followed him for what must have been the longest 15 minutes of his life, but eventually the shark disappeared leaving Mr Craig to swim for three hours before he safely reached the shore. But that was not the end of his ordeal. For he still had to walk for 30minutes before he was spotted by a search and rescue team. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Craig described his encounter with the shark: “It was extremely close and curious and kept approaching me from different angles. It was trying to work out what I was and whether I could be on the menu…It was terrifying. I thought I was just going to be eaten out here in the middle of nowhere… I thought I was gone – 4 nautical miles out to sea with a huge tiger shark following me – I thought this was it, this is how I am going to die,” he said. “I would look back and see its head come out of the gloom and at my fins, keeping pace with me.” And Mr Craig was right to be worried as according to the International Shark Attack File, Tiger sharks are responsible for the second-highest number of reported attacks on humans. Glen Ridgley from Shark Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue added: “I could not believe that someone could swim that far in such a short period of time. I guess where there’s a shark besides you spurring you on… it’s like a trainer.” Must have been a nail-biting encounter.
November 8, 2017