Filmmaker’s great white encounter

Australian filmmaker Ash Gibb ventured into the clear blue waters off a remote beach near Esperance to get footage of a great white shark.

The Kalgoorlie-based filmmaker was filming a large fish in the appropriately named Lucky Bay when, seemingly out of nowhere, he felt a violent bump from behind.

“Very quickly I saw the great white shoot into the picture,” said Mr Gibb.

The four to five metre shark which, according to a shark expert would have weighed the same as a sport utility vehicle, stalked Mr Gibb, circled him a few times, disappeared momentarily then shot back towards him a couple of times.

“At first I was quite excited. I thought, great, this is what I came for,” he said.

While his memory was “blurred by adrenalin”, he instinctively focused on his breathing, remained calm and kept filming.

“I reminded myself of my belief about sharks, which is the fact that they don’t eat humans on purpose. We’re not their food.

“I think that’s sort of what got me through a lot of nerves, because it was very intense.

“Even though I wanted to go and do that, it was a very testing situation.

“I went there to show people that they [sharks] are beautiful creatures, so there was no chance of me fleeing that situation,” he said.

“I was there to film. I got the opportunity. The chances of that actually happening are one in a million, so I took that opportunity and did my best to keep my hand steady, and capture it on film.”

Not perturbed by the scary situation, Mr Gibb is now pursuing his open water dive licence with the hope of filming more shark encounters.

“I want to continue on filming. I’d love to see another great white. The bigger the better,” he said.


Does seeing this footage change your mind about sharks?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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