Saturday, August 14, 2010

Californian surfer Chuck Patterson films great white sharks circling his board


The professional surfer had spotted two sharks while out stand-up paddling surfing with a couple of friends at San Onofre beach, California.
But undeterred by their presence, the 41-year-old waterman returned the following day with a waterproof camera and stroked out to see if they would show up again.

Within a matter of minutes, the Californian found himself surrounded by a pair of Great White Sharks and caught them on video swimming just feet away from him.
At one point during his 15-minute encounter, the bigger of the two creatures – a 9ft shark – even slapped his tail on Mr Patterson’s surfboard.

Chuck Patterson
, from Dana Point, California, said: “The day before I shot this video, I was stand-up paddling surfing with a couple friends and two sharks circled us for about 15 minutes.
“The next day, I decided to go back out at around the same time and take my camera mounted on a 10ft pole and do some exploring.
“Sure enough within five minutes a 9ft shark came out of nowhere and circled twice and slapped his tail on my board before disappearing.
“Then a minute later a 7ft young juvenile Great White swam circles around me for 12 minutes.”
Some of the footage shows the predators’ dorsal fins breaking the water next to him, while more menacing underwater shots see the pair swimming just feet away.

The video is likely to alarm many local surfers at San Onofre as it is not regarded as a particularly sharky spot.
The break, known for its mellow waves popular with longboarders, lies adjacent to the world-class Trestles pointbreak, on which the world’s best surfers will descend next month for the sixth contest of the ASP World Tour.

The video has become an internet hit after married Mr Patterson, a champion stand-up paddle surfer and renowned big wave rider, posted it on Vimeo, the video sharing website.
Commenting on Mr Patterson’s bravery in capturing the footage, one viewer wrote on the site: “Great big white cojones you got there Chuck.”

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