Video: Kayaker's close encounter with basking shark in Ireland

Kayaker's close encounter with basking shark in Ireland

A man came extremely close to a basking shark while kayaking in County Donegal, Ireland.

Graham Smith was fishing for lightweight tope shark when he ended up being "followed" by the huge but harmless shark.

The 36-year-old was in Tullagh Bay near Inishowen on Thursday when he was approached by the animal.

He filmed his encounter using an underwater camera and posted the video on YouTube.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph he said: "There were five of them and they were swimming around and they came closer and closer.

"But when I was swapping my position, one of them started following me."

He told the BBC: "I'm quite familiar with the water as I fish a lot but when something like this happens, the sea suddenly becomes a scary place.

"I nearly had a heart attack when I saw five sharks coming towards me but it was humbling that the biggest of them all was the friendliest.

"He shot in below the kayak with his mouth opened and that was the moment when I thought I was doomed.

"At one stage he almost came nose to nose with me and spent around 10 to 15 minutes with me. It wasn't until I got out of the water when I realised what a tense and exciting experience I had.

"I was that amazed I wasn't quite sure if the camera was recording. I'm delighted I have the footage to share with everyone. Something like this doesn't happen too often."

The basking shark is a gentle giant and the second biggest fish in the ocean after the whale shark.

Watch the video of Graham's close encounter with the basking shark - Warning: Strong language

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