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'Get him out of there’: Video shows 18-foot Great White shark attacking scuba diver's cage as friends scream

In the gripping video, the scuba diver is seen trembling in terror as the shark circles the cage
UPDATED JAN 16, 2023
A great white shark named Slash attacked the cage of a scuba diver in Stewart Island, New Zealand (Discovery/YouTube)
A great white shark named Slash attacked the cage of a scuba diver in Stewart Island, New Zealand (Discovery/YouTube)

STEWART ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND: A breathtaking video from Discovery shows an 18 feet long Great White shark attacking the cage of a diver that gave a scare to his friends on the boat. The man in the cage is himself terrified of the gigantic creature when it comes close with its razor-sharp teeth. 

As divers entered the shark-infested seas at Stewart Island, New Zealand, the tense video was taken as part of Shark Week. The thrill seeker is depicted floating in the water before the shark approaches in the Discovery clip. Before devouring one of the floats, the 18-foot monster attempts an attack. In the gripping video, the scuba diver is seen trembling in terror as the shark circles the cage and his friends scream. The shark is visible from the overhanging vessel, and one onlooker cries "get him out of there" from the boat. The terrifying footage, first recorded in 2013, shows the shark with a gash protruding from the side of his jaw. Producers of the presentation hailed the shark, known locally as Slash, as a "local legend" who had been pursued for some time. The owner and operator of Shark Dive NZ, Peter Scott, who was featured in the documentary, claimed that Slash was the most hostile great white he had ever encountered. A bungled shark tracking project by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) led to the development of his bleeding scar. "This clearly changed his attitude and it appears he became quite aggressive," Scott recalled of the incident as reported by The Sun


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Slash and hundreds of other Great White sharks would migrate to the tropics for the winter, then return to Stewart Island for the summer, according to experts. Scott, who was running Shark Dive NZ, said there was little public awareness of the Great White population in New Zealand. He believed any assault was "a genuine mistake on the shark's behalf" and added statistics were "far worse" than shark fatalities. Years later, the inhabitants of Oban, in the south, asserted that tour companies doing cage dives were luring sharks there.

Richard Squires, a local fisherman and tour guide, said there had been a noticeable increase in sharks and shark attacks in 2016, three years after the video had been produced. On two separate occasions, he claimed, a shark bit down on his float while attacking his boat alone.“The last few years those sharks have shown an unhealthy interest in boats, and they are acting more aggressively,” he told The Guardian at the time. “No other shark cage-diving operations operate this close to a tourist resort that is involved with the sea.”

In the same year of his interview, the New Zealand government intervened to control the Stewart Island shark diving operators, stressing that businesses would need to get permits to operate. The kind of bait they could use to entice great white sharks to come out on their tours was also restricted. These laws, meanwhile, haven't stopped sharks from showing up on New Zealand's coasts, which is home to an estimated 66 species. A Great White shark that had allegedly been attacked by an Orca was just last month discovered on a coastline with its "organs sucked out." The shark was described as being "badly decomposed" and lacking its tail by numerous onlookers. Phil Ross, a marine scientist and researcher at Waikato University, said the washed-up beast appeared after a rise in shark sightings throughout the coast.