Drone photography is becoming increasingly popular and is offering us new perspectives on our encounters with the natural world. In this startling short footage, we see an intrepid boogie boarder just offshore with a shoal of sharks seemingly escorting her through the waves. From above, it looks like a marvelous interaction with these amazing sea creatures but from her perspective it may have been more daunting! At one point she seems to leap onto her board as if her foot has just touched one of the sharks. And who can blame her!
Sharks and Surfers
There are more than 500 shark species worldwide and considering that an estimated 100 million sharks are captured and slaughtered each year by humans, the number of shark attacks is very small. Most sharks would much rather avoid humans than attack them. In this vid, however, the sharks seem to be enjoying swimming alongside the boogie boarder and several other beach users are wading in the water nearby.
A shark bite can obviously be lethal but some so-called ‘bites’ are actually grazes caused by the sharp denticles on the shark’s scales.
Sharks Living Close to the Coast
Boogie boarders tend to stay quite close to the shore so the only sharks that they are likely to encounter and those that prefer shallower water. It’s not clear which species of shark is shown in this footage although the comments suggest that they could be sandbar sharks.
These sharks can be found close to beaches in several areas of the US including Delaware and North Carolina. They can grow up to six feet in length and can weigh up to 150 pounds. However, they very rarely attack humans. They usually eat fish, eels, crabs and other creatures that they find on the ocean floor. However, they do not often frequent beaches so it would be unusual to see them this close to shore.
Other comments claim that they are nurse sharks. These guys live exclusively in coastal waters and never stray into the open ocean – they are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and are seen on the coasts of northern Africa, northern coasts of South America and the east coast of the US as well as the
Gulf of Mexico. They are very tolerant of humans being near them and will only attack when they are provoked so hopefully this boogie boarder was never in any danger!
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