Danny Henricks has shared his video of a bull shark attack in slow motion
Henricks was spearfishing for food near the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year when he was charged by a male bull shark.
The 35-year-old said he had not speared any fish and there was no blood in the water.
As he was driving down, he spotted the shark on the edge of the channel.
“It’s not uncommon for sharks to come at you . . . size you up to see if you’re an easy meal, they just want to know what you are,” he said.
He also said a lot of sharks, especially reef sharks, will swim by to check you out and if there is blood in the water, then they will become more aggressive.
However, “once they have sized you out and they know you are not food, they’ll go away,” Henricks explained.
For those reasons, when the shark began swimming toward Henricks, he thought he might have to give the shark “a poke on the nose and it would go away.”
But once the shark was 16 to 19 feet (5 to 6m) away it “fully charged.”
As the shark closed in, it opened its jaws and Henricks was confident the shark was going to take a bite of him or the speargun he was holding. The shark quickly slid its mouth over the gun and as it did, the spear pierced through the top of the shark’s body.
Henricks confirms he did not fire the speargun, but simply held onto it to keep the shark away from himself.
After releasing his dive gear, he swam back to meet his friends.
While it is doubtful, based on the video, the shark survived Henricks did not appear to act inappropriately.
Several YouTube users have threatened Henricksand blame him for the shark’s death.
Henricks takes the comments seriously and understands why some people may be upset.
“I can definitely understand where that empathy comes from . . . I’ve a great deal of love and respect for everything in the ocean, for all animals,” he said.
Henricks said he also has found members of the spearfishing community share those same values.
While he shares empathy, he has some issue with the negative comments.
“It’s hard to take these comments seriously when you have so many empathic feelings for one animal, the shark. Then you have hateful and vengeful feelings toward another animal, in this case it’s me. It’s hypocritical.
“I was out there shooting fish to eat, and it’s just unfortunate that shark was going to attack me. One of us was going to come out second best, and I am glad it was him,” Henricks said in response to several comments suggesting he should not have been in the water.
Even after this event, Henricks plans to return to the water and encourages others to do the same. “Don’t deter yourselves from going in the water because you think a shark is going to come out of the deep and get you. It’s really rare for something like that to happen. They are not mindless creatures that attack,” he said.
Editor’s Note: After watching the bull shark attack in slow motion, the video clearly shows the shark impaling itself onto the speargun.