Diver swims five miles to shore to escape shark stalking him

Elias Hubbard
October 24, 2017

He said: "At this point I thought I was gone - 4 nautical miles out to sea with a huge tiger shark following me - I thought this was it, this is how I am going to die".

The Brit, who moved to Australia two years ago, was reunited with his wife.

But Craig wasn't the only one in the water.

"I feel extremely lucky to be alive and was blown away by the Shark Bay community's efforts to rescue me", he added.

"I had been splashing and screaming for some time and my heart rate was sky high", Craig told ABC.

He started screaming and splashing to get his friend's attention, but his friend was too far away.

When the diver looked under the water, trying to understand, not whether it blows over, at arm's length he saw a huge tiger shark.

"The shark would disappear into the gloom then suddenly reappear behind me, just keeping pace with me behind my fins".

When he also saw a large sandbar whaler circling, he said he gave up on the boat and chose to swim for shore.

The Sunderland man said during the swim to shore he was followed by a curious shark, measuring about 13ft, leaving him terrified.

After three hours, using his spear and gentle swimming motions to not provoke the sharks, he eventually made it to shore having survived.

"I guess where there's a shark besides you spurring you on... it's like a trainer".

"The red cliffs of Francois Peron National Park were very low on the horizon and I knew it was going to be a long swim".

When he stood up he saw dozens of boats in the distance searching for him, and a plane overhead but did not see him. And he said that after arriving back in the nearby town of Denham, his first task was to buy drinks for members of the Volunteer Marine Rescue crews, police and local boat owners who helped bring him to safety.

"I just thought about my wife and how anxious she'd be".

By this time, his friend had alerted authorities to Craig's disappearance and he was spotted by a sea rescue plane around an hour later as he walked along the coastline.

"I don't want people to be put off coming to Shark Bay to dive and snorkel". Fortunately, the shark swimming along with him gave up after about 500 metres in, and left him alone. "We need them in the oceans and, as much as it was scary at the time, I can only reflect on how attractive that big female tiger shark was". "If the circumstances were different I would have been stoked to have that experience", he said.

Behind the great white shark, the tiger shark is the species most commonly implicated in unprovoked attacks by sharks on human beings, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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