NZ’s ‘first bloke’ fends off an­gry shark

The Star Malaysia - - World -

WellingTOn: New Zealand’s “first bloke” Clarke Gayford re­vealed how he fought off an an­gry shark with a pole while div­ing off Auck­land.

Gayford, the part­ner of Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern, tweeted a pic­ture of him­self keep­ing the predator at bay while a dol­phin swims in the back­ground.

How­ever, in­stead of launch­ing a Flip­per-style res­cue to chase off the shark, Gayford said the dol­phin was con­tent to watch the un­der­wa­ter drama un­fold from a dis­tance.

“So it turns out that not only do dol­phins not help, they ac­tu­ally quite like watch­ing,” he tweeted yes­ter­day. “A child­hood myth is ru­ined.”

Gayford, who hosts a tele­vi­sion fish­ing show, said he was help­ing a cam­era op­er­a­tor shoot footage for the ed­u­ca­tional show Young Ocean Ex­plor­ers when the in­ci­dent oc­curred.

He said he was “swimming safety”, or keep­ing watch so the cam­era­man could con­cen­trate on film­ing bot­tle-nosed dol­phins and false killer whales off Great Bar­rier Is­land near Auck­land.

“They were feed­ing on king­fish and had been tear­ing some large ones in half and putting blood in the wa­ter, which at­tracted sev­eral large bronze whaler sharks,” he said.

“I got in the wa­ter and they turned their at­ten­tion on me, I had to fend the large one pic­tured off with a pole sev­eral times, as it was get­ting quite ag­i­tated. We got out not long af­ter.”

It is not Gayford’s only re­cent en­counter with a shark.

In March, he tweeted a pic­ture of him­self with “an overly amorous whale shark” that he said ac­ci­den­tally pinned him against a boat.

Gayford will soon swap his deepsea ad­ven­tures for the role of stayat-home dad when Ardern gives birth to the cou­ple’s first child, due on June 17. — AFP


Deep-sea hor­ror: Gayford fight­ing off the shark while a dol­phin swims in the back­ground off the Great Bar­rier Is­land which lies in the outer Hau­raki Gulf, New Zealand.

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