A man capturing drone footage of California surfers over the weekend was alarmed to also spot a shark lurking the waters nearby.
Dustin McCaslin had launched a drone above Pismo State Beach in Oceano, California on Saturday hoping to snag some aerial shots of the local surfers, when he spotted what he thought was a piece of seaweed.
But upon flying the drone closer, what appeared to be a great white shark came into focus. The shark ventures within feet of surfers nearby, who remain blissfully unaware of the predator’s presence.
McCaslin brought the video to a lifeguard, who took a boat out to investigate, although it’s unknown if the search turned up anything. The lifeguard told McCaslin that sharks are ‘always out there, we just can’t see them.’
Drones, which can be easily and cheaply deployed to gain a birds-eye-view of beaches, have been proposed as a peaceful way to help prevent shark attacks.
While techniques like culling sharks, employing extra lifeguards, and roping off swimming areas are controversial, and may not be effective, drone footage can offer an early warning that allows swimmers and surfers to get out the water with time to spare.