Dale Pearson was in for a surprise when he went to check out what he thought was a beached whale, or possibly a hammerhead. Turns out it was neither: he’d stumbled across a great white shark, stuck in shallow water.
Keeping his cool, Pearson grabbed a camera, and not only filmed the shark, but actually approached it by wading into the surrounding water, ultimately standing very close to the animal.
From that distance, he could see the shark was injured, having a deep gash in its back, probably from a boat propellor (warning: video contains some NSFW language):
Pearson speculates that the shark, having been weakened by its injury, could no longer take on its usual full-size prey of larger marine mammals, and was instead coming into shallow water to hunt for stingrays.
And there are definitely stingrays to be found along that beach: while Pearson is filming the shark, his friend, wading alongside him, is attacked by a stingray. He ended up with a bleeding foot and a lot of pain.
Once the tide came in, the shark presumably swam away, but sightings were reported on nearby stretches of coastline.
So will the shark recover? It doesn’t look too good in the video. But according to marine biologists, this kind of injury is unlikely to kill the shark. Most likely it will continue to eat smaller prey in shallow waters until the wound has healed enough. In the meantime, I’d probably keep a bit more distance than Pearson did in this video.