Drone Footage Shows Large Shark Approaching Oblivious Surfer in Australia

A resourceful drone operator in Australia put his device's speaker technology to good use last weekend, using it to warn a surfer about an approaching shark.

The stunning incident occurred in the waters off Werri Beach in New South Wales on Sunday and was captured on video. Drone operator Christopher Joye posted the footage to Twitter, showing off his successful attempt at fending off the feared ocean predator.

"At Werri Beach today this large shark was approaching a surfer, and I used my drone's speaker system to warn him," Joye wrote alongside the 50-second clip. "Watch him look up at the drone, then bolt, with the sudden splashing warding off the approaching shark."

The video clearly shows the shadowy outline of the large shark swimming directly toward the surfer, who immediately takes his legs out of the water after hearing the drone's speaker.

"I don't think he saw it," Joye said, referencing the shark, in response to one Twitter user who asked about the surfer's reaction. "He looked puzzled when I was relaying that a large shark had been on approach when he was back on the beach. He certainly heard the message."

The video has already been shared thousands of times, and many viewers have praised Joye for his quick-thinking. That's "crazy stuff, probably saved that guy's life," one commenter said.

The operator said he was using the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, which comes equipped with a slew of cutting-edge features, including infrared imaging, night vision and the emergency speaker. It remains unknown what type of shark was spotted.

Speaking to the Illawarra Mercury, a local newspaper, Joye said the shark appeared to be roughly 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) long and had been circling the surfer prior to his drone sighting.

"The surfer was completely oblivious, even though the water was very clear. I used the speaker system to warn the surfer as the shark started clearly heading towards him," Joye said.

"It looked like either a bronze whaler or a great white, but I am not sure. I have seen numerous sharks at Werri using drones, but this is the first time I have been able to warn anyone with the speaker system," Joye continued. "It is also the first time I have seen one heading for a surfer."

On its website, the New South Wales government advises beachgoers to swim only at patrolled beaches and stay between the flags, which show areas patrolled by lifeguards. It lists a slew of safety tips, urging citizens to never surf alone, to avoid murky waters and remain close to shore. "There is no 100 percent safeguard, as the ocean is a wild space," it concedes.

Great white shark
A great white shark is photographed 150 miles off the coast of Mexico in September 2016. Dave J. Hogan/Getty