Southern California-based professional shutterbug Carlos Gauna has been bringing us beautiful drone shots of sharks, whales, and other marine life for a while now. For his latest video, this time shot in San Diego, he collaborates with a very special 10-year-old boy looking to spread shark awareness with the help of his Mini 2 drone, and captures several close encounters between surfers and sharks.
Gauna is certainly no stranger to witnessing oblivious surfers coming into close proximity with sharks. His YouTube channel, TheMalibuArtist, is home to several jaw-dropping videos that would testify to that.
“Every time I film one of these encounters, I wonder what the person on the water is seeing at the moment,” says Gauna. “It’s clear most folks I film in these situations typically have no idea a shark is nearby. It’s such an intriguing scenario that luckily ends peacefully most of the time.”
Drone video of shark-surfer encounters in San Deigo
The San Diego collab comes courtesy of Elijah Franklin, a budding marine biologist who has launched his own YouTube channel, GreatWhiteDrone, to bring about awareness that sharks are not aggressive creatures toward humans.
Not only is the video they’ve put out a great reminder of how sharks are probably the most misunderstood animals on the planet, but it’s also peppered with handy tips about flying together with a buddy and capturing aerial views of marine life in general. At one point, you find Gauna telling Franklin:
The one thing you’ve got to do when you’re flying with somebody else is, remember what your altitude is and make it a habit to repeat it every 30 seconds or one minute, so we don’t stay at the same level.
Gauna also explains that he makes it a point to get up high and away from people immediately, so he doesn’t draw unnecessary attention. The pair then follows different sharks to maximize the chances of seeing something unique.
In one instance, a surfer appears to notice a shark, even pointing at it a couple of times and paddling right over to it. In another, the duo spots a shark with a boat propeller strike on its tail. Gauna says:
We continued to film even more encounters, all of them close and without incident. The sharks in every case just pass by unfazed. They really don’t appear to care at all about the humans in their water. It’s wise to remember, however, these are juvenile white sharks.
Read more: Drone captures fishermen’s daylong battle with 487-pound shark in New York
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