Swimming with dolphins has long been the dream of many an adventurous backpacker.
But one travelling Brit got more than he bargained for when he took a dive with a pod of dolphins off the coast of New Zealand to cross another exploit off the bucket list.
Adam Walker from Nottingham was swimming with the mammals when a six-foot great white shark appeared only a few feet away.
Adam Walker from Nottingham was completing the 16-mile challenge to swim across the Cook Strait when he came across the shark, with the cold blooded beast appearing underneath him
He was completing the 16-mile challenge to swim across the Cook Strait when he came across the shark, with the cold blooded beast swimming beneath him.
‘I happened to look down and saw a shark a few metres underneath me,’ Adam said on his YouTube channel. ‘I tried not to panic as I have an objective to successfully swim across.’
Adam says the dolphins formed a protective ring around him when the shark approached, shielding him from any potential attacks.
‘I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home,’ he told the Marlborough Express. ‘This swim will stay with me forever.’
Sticking together in pods is the main way dolphins defend one another from a shark’s attack, with the plucky creatures often harassing the predator and driving it away.
Whether the dolphins did so in defense of Adam is another matter, but they saw off the shark in any case.
Dolphins often stick together in pods as a means of defending one another from a shark’s attack, often chasing it away by harassing it
‘I can’t say whether the dolphins came as a pod to my aid as they can’t speak to me, however I can say that after a few minutes the shark disappeared and the dolphins stayed with me for another 50 mins which was an amazing experience,’ said Adam.
He said his friend told him he didn’t need to worry about sharks in the water so close to the shore, prompting him to try and cross the strait, reported The Sun.
Adam said he had encountered sharks while swimming on two other occasions, while in Hawaii and the Tsugaru channel in Japan, adding that the best approach when coming across a shark is not to panic.