An Irish kayaker captured rare footage when a huge basking shark joined him while he was fishing off the coast of Donegal.
“What an amazing experience a basking shark made 3 attempts to swim with my kayak and I only realised what he was at on his 3rd attempt, he was so close and seemed to like being beside the kayak,” Smith, who posted his video on Youtube, said.
Smith admits the encounter was nerve-wracking: “Just a bit too close, nearly needed a clean pair of trousers after this one lol,” he joked.
The kayaker got so close to the shark he added: “He shot under the kayak and was no more than three feet away from me.
“I realised he is trying to feed in my slipstream, at the back of my kayak,” he continued.
When the shark swam really close to him he said. “At first I thought it was an act of aggression, but when I went to leave him alone - he followed me for at least ten minutes feeding. It was amazing!
“He was following me, I wasn’t chasing him and he seemed to be having a great feed.”
The plankton-eating shark is the world’s second largest fish, adult basking sharks can average six to eight metres in length.
According to Basking Sharks Ireland, soaring summer temperatures and calm sea conditions have resulted in the Hundreds of Basking Sharks gathering at Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal this July.
Watch Smith’s footage of the giant shark below: