Drone captures great white sharks near surfer at Evans

RISKY MOVE: A lone surfer takes his chances as two sharks patrol at Evans Head. The image was captured using a drone camera.
RISKY MOVE: A lone surfer takes his chances as two sharks patrol at Evans Head. The image was captured using a drone camera. Mark Flahertymj Visual Media

EVANS Head licensed drone operator Mark Flaherty only had a minute of battery power left when he captured chilling video footage of great white sharks near a surfer off Main Beach on Saturday.

His amazing footage showing two sharks near a surfer at Evans Head has been seen by millions of people world-wide, after he sold it to TV networks Seven and Nine.

Mr Flaherty said his remote-controlled "eyes in the sky" was on its third flight surveying the ocean when he spotted a shark.

"We were monitoring a large school of baitfish which were off Main Beach, straight out from a surfer who ventured into the water, despite many warnings not to," he said.

"I did my final turn to go along the beach and spotted two objects straight out from the surfer which seemed to appear out of nowhere, which was quite chilling.

"When I flew over them I had a pretty good idea they were definitely sharks, from my experience as a surfer.

"I think I did three passes over the objects from memory and then I was forced to land to make a battery change."

As soon as he realised he had captured images of a shark, Mr Flaherty said he notified people on the beach to alert the surfer in the water.

Evans Head UAV operator Mark Flaherty of MJ Visual Media captured the photo of two sharks off Evans Head near a surfer with his drone camera.
Evans Head UAV operator Mark Flaherty of MJ Visual Media captured the photo of two sharks off Evans Head near a surfer with his drone camera. Samantha Elley

"A local police officer who was off duty made phone calls to Marine Rescue and they approached quite promptly," he said.

"Once I got airborne again, which was within minutes of the sighting, we didn't spot a thing.

"The Marine Rescue scanned the beach up and down and they didn't spot anything until we had a peek over into Shark Bay.

"Then we spotted that shark, which was also caught on footage, swimming northbound into Shark Bay where it was

captured by people on camera."

Once Mr Flaherty landed the drone, the media frenzy for his footage began.

"The media were at the scene and they saw the footage and they asked for access to it," he said.

Mr Flaherty said he struck an exclusive deal with the networks for an undisclosed sum.

Beaches from Shark Bay to Chinaman's Beach at Evans Head were reopened yesterday after being closed for 48 hours following Friday's attack.

Topics:  evans head, shark attacks, sharks, surfing

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