A film crew in New Zealand had a blood-racing encounter with a great white shark as they were sitting in their inflatable dinghy. They were gathering footage for a documentary called Lair of the Megashark, which aired on the Discovery Channel last year.
The 20-foot-long (6-meter-long) shark is seen circling the boat and then charging. It also has a good go at nibbling the front of the boat.
One nervous voice can be heard saying: "It's a little nerve-wracking being in a boat no bigger than the size of the shark. The shark is actually bigger than our boat."
While another opinion on the matter can be heard: "I don't think this is such a brilliant f****** idea you know. I don't think we can have a boat in there. I really don't."
There is some speculation that the shark's behavior is a conditioned response to being fed food from boats. This is a byproduct of the cage-diving industry, which will sometimes use bait and chum to lure sharks close to the boat so that cage divers can get a thrilling experience.
Stories abound from locals who claim that this invasive behavior wasn't present in the sharks a decade ago. The majestic beasts are becoming quite comfortable around boats and have been known to chomp buoys, bump into the boats and steal the catch of the day.
However, experts, including the Department of Conservation's director, Allan Munn, aren't all convinced that it's the cage divers that are prompting this behavior in the sharks. Munn commented that it's "highly unlikely" that the shark-diving industry has had an effect on shark activity and noted that "sharks have been coming into the area since time immemorial."