A British diver says he swam 7.5km (four.5 miles) to security off the coast of Australia after dropping sight of his boat and being “adopted” by a shark.
John Craig, 34, had been spear-fishing underwater in Western Australia on Friday when he surfaced and couldn’t see the boat, being crewed by a good friend.
Mr Craig mentioned he observed a shark as he known as and splashed for assist.
He then started a protracted swim again to shore earlier than reaching land and strolling for an additional 30 minutes till he was seen.
The skilled diver from Sunderland, who moved to Australia two years in the past, mentioned the shark had gave the impression to be tiger shark about 4m in size.
“It was extraordinarily shut and curious and stored approaching me from completely different angles. It was making an attempt to work out what I used to be and whether or not I might be on the menu,” he advised the BBC.
“It was terrifying. I assumed I used to be simply going to be eaten out right here in the midst of nowhere… this shark is simply not leaving me alone.”
Mr Craig mentioned he positioned his spear gun between himself and the shark because it swam by him in Shark Bay, about 800km north of Perth, the state capital.
He then determined to swim in direction of the Francois Perron Nationwide Park after recognizing a purple cliff “very low on the horizon”.
However Mr Craig mentioned he was adopted by the “curious” shark for about 15 minutes.
“At this level I assumed I used to be gone – four nautical miles out to sea with an enormous tiger shark following me – I assumed this was it, that is how I’m going to die,” he mentioned.
“I’d look again and see its head come out of the gloom and at my fins, conserving tempo with me.”
He mentioned he felt virtually just like the shark was “escorting” him to shore, however after a time it disappeared.
Reduction at rescue
Mr Craig estimated he swam for an additional three hours earlier than reaching land, the place an air and sea rescue mission was below approach.
He started strolling in direction of a campsite, earlier than a aircraft noticed him about 30 minutes later.
“I couldn’t consider that somebody might swim that far in such a brief time frame,” mentioned Glen Ridgley, from Shark Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue..
“I suppose the place there is a shark in addition to you spurring you on… it is like a coach.”
Mr Craig mentioned he contacted his spouse instantly to let her know he was alive.
The boat had skilled mechanical points however his good friend was OK, Mr Craig mentioned.
Tiger sharks are liable for the second-highest variety of reported assaults on people, in response to the International Shark Attack File.