This is the terrifying moment a British diver finds himself under attack by a deadly shark.
Gary Virgo was exploring Fury Shoal, off the Egyptian Red Sea coast, when his dive buddy noticed the predator overhead.
Shortly after, the oceanic whitetip shark fell to his level, circling closer and closer, before approaching and charging at him.
Gary, from Peacehaven, East Sussex, said: “He headed straight for me and then basically headbutted me.”
‘The force of the blow pushed me into the water; my legs went up.
Gary Virgo was exploring Fury Shoal, off the Egyptian Red Sea coast, when his dive buddy noticed the predator overhead. The oceanic whitetip shark fell to his level, circling closer and closer, before closing in and charging at him.
Gary Virgo with a catch of a trip. Virgo, from Peacehaven, East Sussex, said: “He headed straight for me and then basically headbutted me.”
“It messed up my breathing a little bit, because I was stunned, I just couldn’t believe it, that wasn’t meant to happen.”
Oceanic sharks are reputedly aggressive and were described by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau as “the most dangerous of all sharks.”
They have also been blamed for the notorious 1945 attacks on the crew of the USS Indianapolis, which was left adrift in the Pacific after the Japanese sank their ship.
But Gary is an experienced diver who knows how to behave around sharks, so the encounter was a shock.
He said: “I thought ‘okay, get ready’ and see what happens basically.”
“I wasn’t going to bully him anymore, and I just stood my ground and stuck to what I’m used to in training.
“Normally, if they come towards you, they turn around at the last minute and then walk away, but he just walked in.
The shark when it swam over Gary in the water.
The shark can be seen swimming in Fury Shoal with some fish surrounding it.
He then heads towards the diver.
The shark can be seen hitting Gary and he falls into the water.
“I’m thinking, ‘This isn’t supposed to happen.'” There was no warning, it was just a blow, straight at me.
He added: “I was shocked, I must admit.”
The attack caused Mr Virgo, a welder maker, to give up diving.
“My dive buddy and I were only in the water for nine minutes, and we should have been in the water for 45,” he said.
‘I gave him a signal and said ‘let’s go up’, because I thought ‘okay, I’ll get out of the situation, just in case.’
‘What I said to myself was, ‘I’m glad I’m okay, I’m glad I got back to the boat okay,’ because you look over your shoulder even when you’re swimming back to the ship.’
Then the shark flees the scene. The attack caused Gary, a welder maker, to give up diving.
The shark approaching just before the terrifying encounter
Gary, 66, believes the shark may have attacked because of his scuba gear.
He said: ‘I have a Tigger diving hood that I bought in Scotland, which is orange, yellow and black, like a tiger.
‘I’ve read that they don’t like yellow and orange; They are the colors they choose.
‘Also, my dive computer was beeping because I was fluctuating in the water; It went up and down because it was going around and following him.
—That’s another reason: I guess it was the sound.
However, the encounter hasn’t dampened Gary’s enthusiasm for sharks.
He said: ‘I love sharks.
“My goal is to cage dive with great whites, that’s on my bucket list so to speak.”