WATCH: Teens’ terrifying encounters with bull, tiger sharks

 

A Townsville teenager has filmed the moments he was charged by a hungry 3m bull shark and then stalked by a much larger tiger on a family spearfishing trip.

Zachary Schmidt, 19, studying marine biology at James Cook University, told the Townsville Bulletin that it was the run-in with the tiger shark that finally persuaded him to leave the Hinchinbrook waters.

A first bull shark, estimated to be around three-metres, cruises past James Cook University student Zachary Schmidt during a spearfishing trip on the Great Barrier Reef off Hinchinbrook.
A first bull shark, estimated to be around three-metres, cruises past James Cook University student Zachary Schmidt during a spearfishing trip on the Great Barrier Reef off Hinchinbrook.

In a post on Mr Schmidt's self-titled YouTube channel recounting the overnight adventure on September 23 and 24, a clearly rattled young man said visibility on the reef had deteriorated.

"We probably won't go in for another spear though because we were pretty happy with how it was before and those bull sharks, those bull sharks were pretty scary, so I'm not sure if I want to jump in the water again," he said.

During the commentary, the video cuts to a 3m bull shark cruising past Mr Schmidt at a distance of about six metres, before splicing to a second, more terrifying sequence, in which a second bull shark charges, only to veer off at the last moment.

"As I was braining the fish, it swam a little bit and I accidentally dropped it and that's when the shark put its fins down and swam right up to me … but it did turn around at the last second, which was pretty lucky for me."

A second, larger bull shark charges toward Mr Schmidt but veers off at the last second.
A second, larger bull shark charges toward Mr Schmidt but veers off at the last second.

 

He said he did not panic but the situation got "the heart beating a fair bit".

"It is all about how you perceive it, if you let it get to you, that's when you could have an accident but you have to just stand your ground," he said.

 

James Cook University student Zachary Schmidt, who recently moved to Townsville from Bali. Picture: SUPPLIED
James Cook University student Zachary Schmidt, who recently moved to Townsville from Bali. Picture: SUPPLIED

 

Zachary Schmidt captures what he believes was a 6m tiger shark about 15 metres below him and his brother, Romeo, 14.
Zachary Schmidt captures what he believes was a 6m tiger shark about 15 metres below him and his brother, Romeo, 14.

Mr Schmidt said it was not until the "6m" tiger shark "as big as the boat" appeared on the seabed 15m below them, that he and brother Romeo, 14, decided to swim to their boat, anchored 50m away.

In a second video, Mr Schmidt can be seen motioning for the boat, captained by his father, to come to the aid of the pair.

"It's f***ing big, please help," he calls.

 

 

As Mr Schmidt climbs aboard the boat, he tells his brother to keep the spear gun aimed at the shark.

"Look under the boat dad. Look at that thing? Can you see that thing?" he said.

Mr Schmidt said he was not an experienced spearfisherman but had been out on the reef almost every weekend since his family relocated to Townsville from Bali before the COVID-19 hit in force about four months ago.

The encounters had not put him off spearfishing, and he was looking forward to returning to Lucinda next week.

Originally published as WATCH: Teens' terrifying encounters with bull, tiger sharks


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