Fearless diver who gets up close and personal with great white sharks says don’t worry as ‘most people’ survive attacks

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A FEARLESS diver who gets close and person with great white sharks for extraordinary pictures is not concerned as “most people” survive attacks.

The terrifying marine creatures tend to scare most people, but not photographer Dickie Chivell, who snapped one as it flew towards the camera with its jaw wide open.

Other images showed the enormous sharks’ bloodied gums and impressive seven-inch gnashers in riveting snapshots.

The pictures were taken at Western Cape, South Africa by conversationist Dickie, 27, from Gansbaai South Africa.

Dickie used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a 14mm wide angle fish eye lens from a distance of just 10ft away.

The thrill-seeking photographer said: “I like to get up really close to them.

“I’ve got longer lenses, but I don’t really take them along. Sometimes I put chum in the water to get these animals close.

“If they bump a boat it is not malicious, if they hit a boat they will move away and leave.

“It is a fierce elegance. They are a formidable animal but they are not mindless.

“This mistaken identity is the same with humans, most people will survive a great white shark bite because it will leave the area when it realises that you are not its prey source.”

Great white sharks are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

A 2018 estimate suggested there are only 3,500 of them left.

Dickie works for the eco-tourism company Marine Dynamics and has been snapping great whites since 2010.

He visits the sharks for up to three-and-a-half hours a day and is passionate about changing people’s opinions on the great beasts.

“They are cautious and curious animals,” he said. “Once you work with them on a daily basis, you realise every shark has its own individual personality.

“But there is lots of illegal long-lining, so we have seen a large decline in population.

“Unfortunately, I find myself having the honour of getting to know new individual sharks less and less.

“Just from seeing the sharks in the flesh you overcome the fear factor itself, and when you are underwater you are so caught up in the incredible moment that the last thing you are actually feeling is fear.”

 

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