Two divers are lucky to be in one piece after a frighteningly close encounter with a great white shark off the western coast of Australia last weekend.
According to a video from Australia's 7News, Dave Richards and Nathan Podmore were ten minutes into a spearfishing trip when the shark began to circle them.
"Nathan was on the top of the water getting ready to go down and I felt something moving behind me," Richards told the West Australian. "I turned around and all I saw was the back section of the shark. Mate, it was a meter away. My heart sank and I just tried to get Nathan's attention."
Podmore had a camera strapped to his head, so the terrifying encounter was caught on video.
7News reports that the shark came between the divers and their boat, which was about 150 feet away.
The two men, who somehow remained calm, were able to deter the shark by prodding it with their spear guns. As the above video shows, they were understandably ecstatic when they made it back to their boat unscathed.
"It scared the hell out of us, really." Richards told 7 News.
According to the West Australian, the shark was about 13 feet in length.
"In the water it just looked massive," Richards said in the interview with 7News. "I think if it wanted to it could have made a meal out of us, really," he added.
According to National Geographic, great white sharks, which can be as long as 20 feet, are responsible for one third to one half of the roughly 100 shark attacks reported worldwide each year. Nevertheless, they are categorized as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
While encounters are rare, the government of Cape Town recommends people who do find themselves face to face with a great white remain calm and use whatever they have to create a barrier betwen them and the shark.
On the same day of Podomore and Richards' encounter, a great white shark attacked a kayaker off the coast of California. The shark took a bite out of the kayak and knocked the man into the water, Reuters reports, but the man was unhurt.
Watch the 7News piece above to see a video of the encounter, and click over to the West Australian for more photos.
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