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Unprecedented NSW Shark Attack

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As we head into the depths of the Australian winter and might be plunging into the ocean just a little less, a good documentary can transport even the most dreary of days into a world of tropical reefs, misunderstood characters (ahum, Great White) and underwater paradise. Just what we need amongst lockdowns, cold temperatures, and the god awful rain. Documentarian and wildlife filmmaker Sophy Crane has worked on documentaries for the likes of Discovery, SBS, National Geographic and Disney+ as well as producing environmental digital content reaching millions of people. Sophy gives us her top 10 underwater documentaries to watch during lockdown: 1. Tiny World - Reefs (Apple TV) This stunning underwater episode of the wider Tiny World series encapsulates everything we love about the ocean - the tiny creatures and remarkable characters that make up coral cities and keep them healthy. In this episode of Tiny Worlds, we hear the familiar tones of Paul Rudd (the original Ant Man) shine a spotlight on some of the lesser-known characters, amid spectacular cinematography. 2. Blue Planet 2 (BBC iplayer, Stan) We couldn’t possibly showcase the top 10 documentaries without including Sir David, and in this Emmy-award winning series, Blue Planet 2 deserves a mention - in its entirety. Notably the ‘Big Blue’ episode stands out, with fascinating stories on bubbling oceans and sperm whales. Something you might never notice is the sound design, the grinding, squeaking, and scratching created to replicate sounds of the ocean in this episode - and the entire series - is like nothing on earth. 3. Mission Blue (Netflix) A hero for many, Dr Sylvia Earle, AKA ‘Her Deepness’, features in this documentary as she uncovers the need for protected ocean areas around the world. This legendary marine biologist and oceanographer exposes ocean disasters and ways in which we can protect them - by creating a global network of protected areas, like those of National Parks. An educational and hopeful documentary by one of the greats. 4. Chasing Coral (Netflix) From the director of ‘Chasing Ice’ Jeff Orlowski puts on another spectacular visual, and heart-wrenching documentary. A rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of an underwater production crew at their rawest as they uncover the scale of coral reef bleaching around the world. This team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to understand why the world’s reefs are vanishing. 5. A Plastic Ocean (Netflix) This is one of those documentaries you need a strong coffee and a lot of hope for. An absolute must watch for any diver - or anyone at all. Australian journalist Craig Leeson exposes the stark truth and scale of our plastic problem. 6. My Octopus Teacher (Netflix) Without a doubt one of the best wildlife documentaries to date, oscar-winning My Octopus Teacher transports the audience into an unknown world of wild animal relationships. It is an effortless showcase of conservation by association, as Craig Foster (star and producer), guides us through his unique friendship with a wild common octopus. We experience the highs and lows of the character, and gain a deep understanding of how nature can heal a broken soul. 7. Blackfish (Stan) Through shocking imagery and personal accounts, Blackfish exposes the true nature of captivity, through the eyes of Tilikum, an orca who killed three people during his captivity. This is one of the most poignant and behaviour-changing documentaries you can watch, and is an extraordinary account of why wild animals should not be used for human entertainment. 8. The Cove (DocPlay) An expose of one of the most gruesome of secrets - in Taiji, Japan, a team of activists set out to uncover and film the brutal slaughter and capture of dolphins for use in entertainment and food. An activism film turned undercover operation, this is not only an important documentary to watch, but a gripping one. 9. Last Breath (Netflix) A reenactment of a horrific saturation dive accident, Chris Lemons (diver) recounts his experience as his umbilical cable severed causing him to become trapped at around 100 metres deep with no heat, light or communication. An eye-opening insight into the dangers of deep-sea diving, Last Breath holds a story like no other. Wildcard: 10, Penguin Town (Netflix) Penguin Town has to get a mention somewhere, and given it’s not ‘officially’ an underwater-focused documentary, it deserves the wildcard status. Penguin Town takes wildlife documentaries in a whole new direction, and worth a watch. It’s funny, engaging and outright bizarre - a group of African penguins descend on Simon’s Town in South Africa every year. Their aim is to get as fat as possible and find a mate.
Photo Credit: Don Silcock
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Unprecedented NSW Shark Attack as a super is fatally bitten off Tuncurry Beach

Unprecedented NSW Shark Attack

On Tuesday Moring in the quite seaside town of Tuncurry A man in his 50s died after receiving a bite on his thigh from a large shark. It is believed the creature was a 4.5 meter great white. The man was on a surfing holiday with his friend when the tragedy occurred.

Superintendent Christopher Schilt said the man had seen the shark before it attacked and tried to alert other surfers.

“It's believed that when the attack occurred the man did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others and, very heroically, his friends were able to bring him back in to shore after he had been attacked,”

Unprecedented NSW Shark Attack

NSW Ambulance Inspector Joshua Smyth praised the actions of others who had been on the beach.

“Bystanders, including a retired paramedic, did a valiant job pulling the patient from the water and commencing CPR before paramedics arrived, These people should be commended for their brave actions.”

There had been a number of sightings in the area of large sharks but Brian Wilcox from the local Surf Life Saving branch said the attack was “unprecedented”.

Unprecedented NSW Shark Attack

Mr Wilcox said

“I can't recall ever having a shark attack in this area. The process for Surf Life Saving now is to keep the beaches closed for 24 hours. We've already had a drone up in the air to see if we could spot some sharks in the area. There were a couple of sharks spotted, whether they were the one or not, who knows.”

According to the Tracking Sharks website there have been 7 shark attack bites in Australia in 2021. One provoked and 1 fatal.

Photo Credit: Don Silcock, Twitter, Facebook

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Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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