In the ocean off of Australia's west coast a handful of tiger and great white sharks were devouring a giant dead whale, and then a man leaped into the waters.
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26-year old Harrison Williams from nearby Perth then climbed atop the whale, as two sharks encircled, chomping at the bit.
Williams claims he was trying to rescue the whale, though there are photographs of him striking poses as though he were surfing.
He told the Daily Mail: "The whale looked in distress and I tried to help it. But clearly I was too late."
It is thought that the whale carcass had been floating between Rottnest and Fremantle for a few weeks.
He has since said that he was trying to entertain his friends, and the decision to dive in was a foolish one.
He told Seven News: "I was out on the boat with the boys and one of my mates said it would be pretty funny to surf the whale so I did it.
"Definitely would not do it again. I've done it, I don't need to do it again. Definitely it was a stupid act, I didn't mean to disrespect anyone.
"My mum thinks I'm an idiot, dad's not too proud either."
He says he saw the sharks nearby but said they were too busy eating the whale to notice him.
He may have been fortunate for there were only two at the time he chose to board the sea creature. Earlier in the day there were as many as four.
The world’s best shark diving locations
The world’s best shark diving locations
There are many shark species which can be sighted off the coast of Australia, including great white sharks, grey nurse sharks and reef sharks, but Ningaloo Reef on the western side of the country offers the chance for you to get in the water with the world’s biggest fish, the whaleshark (pictured). From April to July, these massive creatures can be reliably found near the surface, gulping down huge mouthfuls of microscopic food, and this is when you can snorkel with the behemoths.
2/10 Great Britain
The good old UK has its own world-class shark encounter, and not just any shark, but the second-largest in the world - and best of all, you don’t even have to be a diver to see them! In the summer months, huge basking sharks (pictured) appear off the coast of Cornwall and around the Isle of Man, feeding on plankton at the surface, offering a close encounter to snorkellers.
Mexico has several shark-diving spots up its sleeve. Guadalupe Island, which sits 150 miles west of the Baja Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean, is considered the ultimate location to cage-dive with great white sharks (pictured), blessed as it is with clear blue waters and plentiful food sources. On the other side of the country, in the waters off Playa del Carmen in Cancun, you can dive with migrating female bull sharks between November and March.
4/10 The Bahamas
The Bahamas is known as the shark-diving capital of the world, mainly due to the fact that Caribbean reef sharks (pictured) can be regularly sighted in the deep waters off the scattered islands, but more recently two specific areas have become a Mecca for shark divers. Tiger Beach, off the west coast of Grand Bahama, is a prime site all year round for - you guessed it - tiger sharks, which cruise in the shallow waters over an immense sandbank and will come extremely close to divers, while off Bimini, a similar sandbank is home to immense great hammerhead sharks in February.
The Egyptian Red Sea is home to several species of shark, including grey reef, scalloped hammerhead, silvertip and even the odd whaleshark or tiger, but one of its most-majestic inhabitants is the oceanic whitetip (pictured). This highly distinctive shark, with its vast, rounded pectoral fins resembling airplane wings, can often be sighted off the offshore marine park islands of The Brothers, Daedalous and Elphinstone in the winter months, though they have been seen all year round.
6/10 South Africa
Mention ‘South Africa’ and ‘sharks’ and people immediately think ‘great white sharks’, but this country offers far more than just the opportunity to cage-dive with the ultimate apex predator off Dyer Island and Geyser Rock near Gansbaai. You can also get in among packs of blacktip sharks (pictured) and ragged tooth sharks off the KwaZulu-Natal coast on the eastern side of the continent, and of course, from May to July, this is a prime location to sample the Sardine Run, when billions of sardines migrate northwards and attract hundreds of sharks, not to mention whales, dolphins and other predators
Bull sharks (pictured) are one of the most-feared of all shark species, mainly because they prey in the shallows, around estuaries and even miles upstream in rivers, which means they are more likely to come into contact with humans. However, off Santa Lucia on Cuba’s northeastern shore, between August and February, divers can view these awesome predators at close range, as a local dive centre routinely hand-feeds them with scraps of fish.
8/10 Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands, a sun-and-sand tourist hotspot, might seem an unlikely place for shark diving, but there is a species of shark that resides in these waters. The angel shark (pictured) is a placid, bottom-dwelling animal that closely resembles a ray at first glance. Growing up to two-and-a-half metres in length, they are hard to spot, often lying camouflaged on the seabed.
9/10 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The world-famous Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands sitting astride the Equator some 575 miles from the Ecuador coastline, have been in the top five best dive destinations on the planet ever since liveaboards started visiting here. Divers can expect up close and personal encounters with scalloped hammerhead sharks (pictured), Galapagos sharks, and even mighty whalesharks.
10/10 Cocos Islands, Costa Rica
The remote Cocos Islands - they lie some 340 miles off the coast of Costa Rica - are a magnet for divers seeking some serious shark action. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Cocos boasts various species of shark in its waters, but is most renowned for its massive shoals of scalloped hammerheads and whitetip reef sharks (pictured).
Tony Capelutti, from the Department of Fisheries Shark Response Unit, told WA Today: "Around lunchtime one of the reports stated that four tiger sharks and a white shark were feeding on the carcass of a humpback whale four nautical miles east of Rottnest."
He also criticised Williams: "If sharks were feeding on that whale carcass when he swam over then that type of behaviour is highly risky.
"It potentially could have had some critical consequences, not only for the person but also for the witnesses and other people that would have had to assist.
"99 per cent of the population would see that behaviour as risky."Reuse content