Dolphins to the rescue: British swimmer is SAVED from 6ft shark after brave pod of mammals form protective circle around him off the coast of New Zealand
- Adam Walker from Nottingham spotted the great white underneath him
- He was completing the 16-mile swim across the Cook Strait when he spotted it
- But the dolphins formed a circle around him, a common defence against sharks
- ‘I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home,’ said Adam
Swimming with dolphins has long been the dream of many an adventurous backpacker.
But one travelling Brit got more than he bargained for when he took a dive with a pod of dolphins off the coast of New Zealand to cross another exploit off the bucket list.
Adam Walker from Nottingham was swimming with the mammals when a six-foot great white shark appeared only a few feet away.
Adam Walker from Nottingham was completing the 16-mile challenge to swim across the Cook Strait when he came across the shark, with the cold blooded beast appearing underneath him
He was completing the 16-mile challenge to swim across the Cook Strait when he came across the shark, with the cold blooded beast swimming beneath him.
‘I happened to look down and saw a shark a few metres underneath me,’ Adam said on his YouTube channel. ‘I tried not to panic as I have an objective to successfully swim across.’
Adam says the dolphins formed a protective ring around him when the shark approached, shielding him from any potential attacks.
‘I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home,’ he told the Marlborough Express. ‘This swim will stay with me forever.’
Sticking together in pods is the main way dolphins defend one another from a shark’s attack, with the plucky creatures often harassing the predator and driving it away.
Whether the dolphins did so in defense of Adam is another matter, but they saw off the shark in any case.
Dolphins often stick together in pods as a means of defending one another from a shark’s attack, often chasing it away by harassing it
‘I can’t say whether the dolphins came as a pod to my aid as they can’t speak to me, however I can say that after a few minutes the shark disappeared and the dolphins stayed with me for another 50 mins which was an amazing experience,’ said Adam.
He said his friend told him he didn’t need to worry about sharks in the water so close to the shore, prompting him to try and cross the strait, reported The Sun.
Adam said he had encountered sharks while swimming on two other occasions, while in Hawaii and the Tsugaru channel in Japan, adding that the best approach when coming across a shark is not to panic.
Great white sharks: Feared predators of the deep
Great white sharks have such a strong sense of smell that they can detect a colony of seals two miles away.
Great whites give birth to up to ten ‘pups’ but mothers will eat them if they don’t swim off fast enough.
They swim at up to 37mph at full pelt and burst out of the water from below their prey.
They attack 5-10 humans every year but usually just take a ‘sample bite’ out of curiosity before swimming off.
Great whites can live to up to 70 years old.
They are colored white underneath to make them harder to see from below with sunlight shining down.
They have several rows of teeth that can number into the thousands.
As their teeth fall out they are replaced by razor sharp teeth in the row behind.
Male great white sharks generally arrive at the same time to the Farallon Islands off the California Coast and the offshore Island of Guadalupe, Mexico from late July through August, and females arrive to these locations several weeks thereafter.
The sharks are observed at their coastal aggregation sites through February.
Great white sharks are opportunists, feeding from the ocean’s surface to the seafloor.
Smaller great whites prey on fish, rays, and crustaceans, but larger ones also eat seals, sea lions, dolphins, seabirds, marine turtles, rays, and other sharks.