Last weekend in South Beach Florida, Kenny Melendez, who flies drones professionally, was flying his drone when he spotted a large shadow in the water right next to a swimmer. He flew the drone towards it to get a better shot of the large shark, which he believes to have been a tiger shark, very close to the shore and the swimmers.

DJI Inspire 2

Swimmers seem unaware of the shark

Melendez proceeded to lower the drone to about 15 feet over the water to get a better look and followed the shark for about 10 minutes as it swam dangerously close to the unsuspecting swimmers.

Standing in the water it is much harder to spot a shark swimming around you, a drone, however, provides a very different perspective and makes large fish like the shark easy to spot.

“The perspective is much different with a drone,” said Melendez to the Miami Herald. “You can’t see the same things from eye level.”

The drone catches shark on video

The drone footage of the shark was captured around 8 a.m. last Friday when Melendez was showing his drone to his cousin’s friend. Melendez was piloting the drone from the South Pointe Park area when he saw a swimmer and wanted to get some cool footage of her. It was at that moment when he saw the dark shadow in the water. Melendez had his drone follow the shark southwards as it swam very close to the shoreline. The swimmers appeared totally unaware of the lurking danger and Melendez was too far away to warn them of the present danger.

Miami Beach’s Ocean Rescue chief, Vince Canosa, said that is pretty common to see sharks swim close to the shore this time of year. He was not a “100 percent sure it’s a tiger shark.” Mostly blacktip sharks swim southwards from the Carolinas, following the baitfish towards warmer waters as winter approaches.

“They don’t hang around too long,” he said, adding that in his decade-long career on the beach he’s never seen a problem. “It’s their home and we are in it.”

Photos and video

 

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