Two brothers say they came face-to-face with great white sharks while swimming near a beach south of Sydney.
Jai and Kurt Kiggins went to Wattamolla beach after hearing there was a 20-metre-long fin whale carcass floating offshore, which was surrounded by sharks.
The shark was lured in by the whale carcass that had washed into the popular swimming spot. It was first spotted on Monday and no one is sure yet exactly how it died.
“Yesterday my mate called me up and said that there was a massive whale carcass down at Wattamolla and then he said there was a couple of great whites swimming around the whale carcass, feeding off it,” Jai said.
“We decided to jump in his boat and drive down there and then soon as we got there, there was like three great whites swimming around the boat, like circling our boat.
“And then we decided to jump in with it and it was one of the craziest things that I’ve probably ever done.”
Jai says that he enjoyed the close encounter.
“They didn’t seem aggressive at all, but I think some of the biggest ones there were probably about 14, 16 foot.”
The brothers photograph and swim with big ocean fish on a regular basis.
“Probably not the smartest thing to do, but as soon as I jumped into the water, I was definitely scared but I was just relaxed and just enjoying seeing one of the biggest creatures in the ocean,” Jai said.
His brother Kurt described it as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
“Something I dreamed of my whole life, I was like, let’s go,” he said.
However, not everyone was as excited as the brothers.
“My own Mum was not happy about it,” Kurt said.
“She was just blowing up, like, not one bit happy about it.”
National Parks and Wildlife, Maritime and water police are all trying to tow the carcass out to sea as soon as possible, but while great white sharks continue to feed off it, the risk is too high.
In the meantime, all they can do is stop people from swimming.
“We really discourage the public from doing anything like that,” Shaun Elwood, from the Royal National Park, said.
“Basically, we just say, use common sense.”