Diver’s bait ball swim off Coral Bay a ‘calculated risk’
What would you do if you saw 200 hungry sharks converging on a bait ball twice the size of a football field?
If you answered, “swim into the bait ball”, you might have a kindred spirit in Perth man Andre Rerekura.
Mr Rerekura made the astonishing decision to put himself in the middle of a massive feeding frenzy off Coral Bay recently.
His friend and colleague Ryan Chatfield described it as a “calculated risk”.
The men co-founded Terra Australis, an underwater production company which has worked with the likes of The New York Times and the Discovery Channel.
Terra Australis is their labour of love when they get time away from their regular jobs as commercial divers in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Rerekura recently finished filming for a Shark Week documentary on the Discovery Channel at an undisclosed location off WA’s coast.
He saw birds feeding about 400m offshore — presumably on a bait ball — and decided to investigate.
It wasn’t until he put a drone in the air that he realised the scale of the event he was seeing. “It was pretty mesmerising,” Mr Rerekura said.
“It was a little bit daunting when you couldn’t see much but it felt pretty safe.
“We noticed the sharks weren’t really curious about us at all, they were probably more scared of us.”
Video of the encounter shows the screen going dark because of the density of the bait ball.
The sharks were mainly bronze whalers and sandbar whalers.
Dozens of sharks were devouring the bait ball.