shark seal kayak

Watch: Wild Footage Captured by Kayaker Shows Shark Hunting Seal in Open Ocean

The shark attacks the seal nearby before the clash almost capsizes the kayak.

A fisherman kayaking off the New Zealand coast near Waihau Bay experienced a real-time, interactive version of Blue Planet on August 26. As Greg Potter floated in the water, line cast and hoping for a tuna, he noticed a struggle between a shark and seal nearby. Quickly, he grabbed his camera and started recording. "I've got a juvenile great white shark chasing a seal out here," he says as he points the camera toward the commotion. "It's unreal!"

The seal can be seen jumping and flopping up a few feet out of the water more than a dozen times as the shark stays on its prey with whiplash turns. Fascinated by the event, Potter stays in place with his camera zoomed in. However, this may have put him in a perilous situation as the seal begins swimming towards his kayak with the shark close in tow. " they come!" Potter says, calm and collected, as the duo approach.

Next, chaos ensues. First, the seal appears to hit the side of the boat, dodging underneath. Then, it flies up out of the water to the left of Potter. Soon after, one of the two animals knocks the boat from under, almost causing Potter to capsize.

Potter's kayak adventure was shared on his YouTube channel, GP Fishing Adventures, and at the time of publish he has received over 130,000 views. One commenter says: "100% that seal saw your kayak and saw a place where he could possibly jump on and get away from the shark." There is a high likelihood that this was the case, and if so, Potter is extremely lucky that the seal didn't board his kayak.

There are instances of seals, and their close cousins sea lions, using passing boats to escape predators. In 2021, a video surfaced on Twitter showing a sea lion jumping onto a boat to escape a hunting orca. In 2016, another video showed a seal hiding behind a boat's engine to escape an orca attack.

Although Potter kayaked away unscathed from this event, there have been instances in which a shark pulled a fisherman overboard. Here is some advice from the University of New Hampshire to keep you safe if you abandon the land to cast your lines:

  • Be aware sharks hunt for seals in shallow water
  • Stay close to shore where rescuers can reach you
  • Swim, paddle, kayak, and surf in groups - don't isolate yourself
  • Avoid areas where seals are present
  • Avoid areas where schools of fish are visible
  • Avoid murky or low-visibility water
  • Limit splashing
  • Adhere to all signage and flag warnings at beaches
  • Follow instructions of the lifeguards

If all else fails, check out our best tips on how to survive a shark attack.