Champion spearfisher’s terrifying shark encounter

 

Champion spearfisher Lara Puckeridge has spoken of the 'freaky' moment she came face-to-face with a shark.

Footage captured the moment the three metre tiger shark approached Ms Puckeridge just under the surface at Long Reef beach in Sydney.

In the video, Lara keeps her spear gun pointed at the shark while it circles around her.

Former Australian spearfishing champ Lara Puckeridge came incredibly close to a tiger shark on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Picture: Sky News
Former Australian spearfishing champ Lara Puckeridge came incredibly close to a tiger shark on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Picture: Sky News

Despite the close call, Ms Puckeridge never fires her gun, instead using it to keep distance and leave the shark be.

Speaking with Peter Stefanovic on Sky News, Ms Puckeridge said the encounter made her nervous.

"At first I didn't see it approaching because it came in from behind ... it circled me for quite a while," Lara said.

"At first I was a bit excited because they are pretty cool to see in the water but one it circled me for a while I got pretty freaked out," she said.

"I was starting to get pretty nervous by the end of it."

Lara never fired her spear gun at the shark, instead keeping eye contact and using her gun to create distance. Picture: Sky News
Lara never fired her spear gun at the shark, instead keeping eye contact and using her gun to create distance. Picture: Sky News

Lara said what made the moment so scary and exciting was the fact it happened so close to Sydney.

The experienced spearfisher has had plenty ofshark encounters in her time under water, but rarely one as dangerous as a tiger shark in Sydney's Northern Beaches.

"Tigers and bulls are pretty dangerous ... with sharks you always keep eye contact, never put your head above water and try to stay in a group," Lara said.

Her father Ianis a six time spearfishing champion, and his advice is how the young woman can keep so calm in the face of a deadly shark.

"It's hard to keep eye contact ... they definitely don't like the eye contact though, as soon as you lift your head they come in a lot quicker," she said.

"This one was pretty interested."

Originally published as Champion spearfisher's terrifying shark encounter



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