Man 'rides' whale carcass during shark feeding frenzy
IN THE ocean off Western Australia, a handful of tiger and great white sharks were devouring a giant dead whale, and then a man leaped into the waters.
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 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.
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."