Drone photographer applauded as hero for his shark warning

great white shark

Photographers can sometimes fall into just the right situation at the right moment in a way that lets them make a major difference to others. This is what happened recently with a drone photographer working near an Australian beach.

David Alphonso, an observant drone photographer may have just saved a couple of lives or limbs by noting the very near presence of an enormous great white shark swimming within just meters of swimmers along Meelup Beach in Western Australia.


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Thinking quickly, the photographer, who had been shooting a marine wildlife video along the beach, Facetimed his own romantic partner Kirsty, who was along the same beach with their child. She then got to safety and notified other swimmers about the enormous marine predator nearby.

Alphonso then also alerted lifeguards in the area to the shark’s presence. They rapidly jetskied out to where the photographer said the shark was and verified that the animal was a great white.

The lifeguards then called in a helicopter to monitor the creature and sounded a shark alarm with which they closed off the whole beach.

According to David Alphonso’s own comments to The Sun, “It’s a good job I had my drone up there. There must have been thousands of people on the beach.”

The photographer himself wasn’t quite sure what type of shark it was once he spotted it. He could only tell that it was enormous and approaching within no more than 10 feet or 3 meters of swimmers along the beach.

He then showed his live footage as it was being displayed on his iPad to a lifeguard who set off the wider official response by beach personnel.

According to many sources, sharks swimming this close to shore are often actively seeking prey. Given the shark’s size at first glance, it could have easily been either the great white it turned out to be or a tiger shark, which also reaches a similar size.

Both species are aggressive and active marine predators known for occasionally biting humans. Though neither species normally pursues humans as prey, even a so-called test bite can be more than devastating enough to be fatal.

Great whites in particular are known for sometimes inflicting severe bites on humans in their natural territorial waters.

David Alphonso himself stressed on his Instagram page how important it is to respect sharks despite the predator’s presence close to his own family in the same water.

“We have to remember it’s their ocean, without them the underwater ecosystem would collapse. Be aware, but don’t be scared of sharks” according to the photographer.

The photographer, who moved to Australia from the U.K a decade ago told the website PetaPixel that he works as an electrician by trade and that he does his special kind of photography as a hobby.

He claims to be especially passionate about wildlife photography.

His other photos and videos of enormous marine fauna off the coast of Australia are indeed quite impressive and worth a look on his Instagram page.

ray fish swimming in tropical water

He has previously captured genuinely stunning videos of humpback whales, dolphins and most impressively of all, rare videos of immense blue whales swimming in the continent’s tropical waters.


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These creatures, the largest animals ever to exist on the earth are not frequently caught on video.

You can catch a glimpse of David Alphonso’s other photo and video work on his Instagram page.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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