Startled Sailor Stunned by Airborne Great White Shark

It’s an incident South African sailor Nzunda Dosi won’t forget quickly.  The moment an enormous 4-metre Great White exploded from the water and performed an airborne 360 just a metre away from him in Gansbaai (or Gans Bay), South Africa.

Great White Shark Breaching South Africa
Photo: © Heinrich du Plessis, Shark Diving Unlimited

Nzunda, who was completely stunned by the experience yesterday, has worked on the Shark Diving Unlimited boat for 14 years and often sees sharks breaching from the water, but this was the first time one launched so closely to the boat…and in his direction! His astonishment in the image is obvious.

“I was taken by surprise, I was shaking a little afterward,” says Nzunda. “Seeing a one tonne shark breaching next to me with such speed and force that it cleared the surface of the water by two metres, I couldn’t help but feel small…but the other guests on the boat thought it was fantastic and asked I could make it do that again!”

No one can determine when a Great White Shark will breach, giving anyone who witnesses it a huge unexpected adrenalin rush.

It is believed that Great White Sharks mostly breach around Shark Alley, just off the fishing village of Gansbaai in the Overberg district of the Western Cape.

The waters are teaming with Great White Sharks and Shark Diving Unlimited offers breaching trips where guests can actually come and see Great Whites performing these stunning aerobatics in pursuit of the fast moving prey such as Cape Fur Seal.

The record for 40 breaches in one day is held by the company.  Owner and Filmaker Mike Rutzen – who is a world renowned expert on great white sharks, and an avid spokesman for shark conservation –  was the first person to capture this amazing marine spectacle from both underwater as well as from the air. This amazing footage can be seen in the “Great White Shark – A Living Legend” documentary. (Watch below.)

“This is by far one of the most incredible and breath-taking experiences you can have,” says Mike.

“No other natural event even comes close to this and seeing the raw power and unparalleled magnificence of the Great White Shark is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.”

Great white shark breaching trips take place between May and August.



Watch Video:

Here’s a minute and a half of footage from the Great White Shark Living Legend, BBC Documentary: