By Charlotte Regen
This frightening footage captures the moment an eel launched a surprise attack on an underwater photographer.
Petrified snapper, Bartosz Lukasik, found himself being chased by the Moray Eel during a coral reef dive in Sodwana Bay, South Africa.
Bartosz, from Poland, filmed the very moment the ‘angry’ eel turned on him while he was swimming and chased him for a heart-stopping 15 metres.
He said: “I do not know why the eel attacked.
“Throughout my years of underwater filming, I have filmed the same species of eel close-up many times and this has never happened before.
“My guess is that because there were two of them in one place I might have interrupted their mating ritual or courtship which made one of them pretty angry.
“These eels are usually completely harmless. I have filmed them from a very close distance many times, for example with cleaning shrimps cleaning the inside of their mouth, and I never had any issues whatsoever.
“Thankfully nobody was injured in this situation. I swam away very quickly, the eel chased me for about 10 to 15 metres but in the end, everyone was fine.
“I certainly didn’t expect this situation nor did I want to provoke it. I take great care in not interfering with marine life when filming it and always try to keep enough distance from it so that both me and the subject feel comfortable and not threatened in their environment.
“This is the first time for me so since then I approach big eels with much more caution and try to read their behaviour far in advance.
“I guess this situation with the eel taught me a lesson that wild ocean animals can be unpredictable and even when you think you know a lot about their behaviour, it can happen that you misread certain signs resulting in a situation such as this and you should always treat these animals with even more respect in the future.”