By Charlotte Regen
This brave diver filmed a wild crocodile right up close – after it slipped into the water with him and he could not take his eyes off it.
Sven Bernet, from Switzerland, was scuba diving around an archipelago off the Cuban shore when the crocodile slid into the water from a mangrove.
The captain of his boat had warned him if he came across a crocodile, he had to remain calm and keep looking it in the eye to decrease his chances of being eaten.
But Sven took it a step further, getting right up close to the croc to film it swimming right past him through the crystal clear water.
He admits his instincts were screaming at him to run, but instead he stayed calm and drifted right up behind the predator.
Sven was on a week-long Caribbean diving trip at the time.
He said: “When the crocodile first appear I was in the water, about 100 feet from our small motorboat.
“The skipper shouted that a crocodile had slipped into the water from the mangroves 160 feet away and was slowly swimming towards me.
“I had to look at it and not try to swim away. Underwater they are much faster than any human, and they are much less likely to attack you if you are looking them in the eyes.
“When the crocodile swam closer it was a very scary moment. Your instinct automatically tells you to get out of there immediately.
“But I stayed calm and didn’t panic, as I had been told.
“When he was about 30 feet from me the crocodile slowed down, stopped and waited in the seagrass, probably trying to hide there and observe. I did the same and after a few minutes I decided to slowly go closer to it to take photos.
“I had to be careful not to kick up the sand as the visibility would have been reduced to nothing within seconds and I would not have been able to see what the crocodile is doing or where it is going.
“When I got very close I started filming.
“I did get myself into one uncomfortable position, when the crocodile was moving forwards and I was by its side, between the back leg and the tail. The skipper told me later that this is the best position for crocodiles to attack.
“I have swum with bull and tiger sharks before, which definitely triggers adrenaline, but coming across the crocodile was definitely the most thrilling encounter I have had.”