By David Aspinall
This is the crazy moment an experienced diver paddles perilously close to a 14ft long great white shark stranded in shallow waters outside his home.
Daredevil Dale Pearson ignored all danger when he waded into the Sea of Cortez, Mexico, on May 27 after he spotted what he initially thought was a hammerhead shark.
Approaching carefully, Dale and buddy Eric Mack realise it is actually a mammoth great white they think has been caught in a net before noticing two huge propeller wounds on its back.
Deciding the shark isn’t stuck but feeding on stingrays as it circles through the water, Dale gets an up-close look as the predator thrashes its huge tail before flashing its vicious teeth.
Dale, co-owner of Pearson Brothers Winery, said: “To see such a huge shark in basically my front yard was quite unnerving.
“I have done several dive projects with great whites but I had never seen anything like this.
“I wasn’t worried it would attack but kept enough of a distance out of respect for its potential to strike.”
As Dale stood mere metres from the great white, two visible injuries – one at least six inches just below the beast’s dorsal fin – become apparent.
Dale said: “The wound on its back looked like a typical propeller injury you would see on a whale or whale shark.
“Boat strikes like that are common down here as it’s almost impossible to spot them just below the surface on choppy water.
“There were no rope or net entanglement marks on it so my guess is a prop strike or the bottom fin of an outboard motor hit it.”
Dale and Eric left the shark in the shallows after they were both stung by stingrays swimming around them, but were told a similar animal was spotted in the same shallows over the next few days.
He said: “The shark was never stuck and it had control over where it was and was trying to be in shallow water.
“It would hold still for a few minutes then swim out to deeper water of 2m then circle back and hold still again.
“That’s why we are pretty sure the shark was eating those stingrays. Of all 3 of us in thigh deep water all 3 got hit.
“The person who spotted it both times after is a seasoned ocean veteran and lives in an elevated location so can scan the water easier.”