Boy Flying Drone Over Surfers In South Africa Captures Great White Shark Lurking Beneath

by : Lucy Connolly on : 24 Jun 2020 14:06
Boy Flying Drone Over Surfers Captures Great White Shark Lurking BeneathZachary Berman/NSRI

A number of surfers had a lucky escape recently when drone footage captured a great white shark lurking just beneath the surface of the water they were floating on.

The shark, estimated to be 10ft long, can be seen cruising underneath the six surfers and a single kayaker for several moments before any of them realise they are in such close proximity to a dangerous predator.


The whole encounter was captured by a teenage boy who had been using a drone to film surfers at Plettenberg Bay in Western Province, South Africa, yesterday, June 23, in water just six feet deep.

You can watch what happened below:


Somehow, the giant shark goes undetected for 25 nail-biting seconds, until the kayaker paddles towards it and notices its fin break through the surface of the water.


Realising they’re all in danger, he notifies one of his surfing companions whose legs are just a couple of feet from the great white, who immediately paddles away from the shark with urgency.

He then notifies the rest of the group, who can be seen changing direction and swimming away from the dangerous situation. At that moment, the shark breaks away, giving the group of friends a chance to head back to shore.

shark swimming below surfersZachary Berman/NSRI

Teenager Zachary Berman, who had been at the beach with his father to film surfers, captured the whole thing on his drone about 50 yards off shore.


The nature enthusiast said he made the decision to follow the shark when he first spotted it in the water, but when he realised how close it was to the surfers he told his dad to go and get the group out of the water.

His dad alerted the life guards who began clearing the beach and entered the water to help the surfers, in case the shark decided to attack. Luckily, it didn’t and everybody escaped unharmed.

‘It was really scary standing there with the remote control watching this shark heading towards the surfers,’ Zachary said, as the Mirror reports. ‘You don’t really know what to do in that situation and I just kept on filming it.’

shark beneath surfersZachary Berman/NSRI

When the surfers and kayaker got safely back to shore, Zachary showed them the footage and they realised just how close they had been to the great white. ‘They were flabbergasted,’ Zachary said. ‘They were completely in shock.’

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon, who released the drone footage, said they were appealing to all surfers, paddle boarders and bathers to be on full alert for great white sharks.

He said in a statement:

Those using the water around the Southern and Eastern Cape need to be cautious due to a high number of great white shark sightings and close encounters at present…

A large amount of shark sightings and some encounters have been reported close in shore along the Plettenberg Bay coastline over the past few weeks and on Sunday and with this sighting.

drone captures great white below surfersZachary Berman/NSRI

Lambinon said the drone footage captured yesterday only ‘highlights the urgency of this safety appeal’ because the sharks are swimming in such close proximity to surfers.

Hopefully the appeal will be successful and nobody else will have such a close encounter to one of the sharks.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Drones, great white shark, Now, Sharks, South Africa, Technology, video


National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and 1 other
  1. National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)

    NSRI urgent safety warning:

  2. The Mirror

    Chilling footage shows moment great white shark lurks beneath unsuspecting surfers