Diver's extremely close encounter with great white shark

Ruth Doherty

Diver's extremely close encounter with great white shark
Diver's extremely close encounter with great white shark

An abalone diver managed to capture on camera the terrifying moment he came face-to-face with a great white shark.

Mark Payne, 49, has been an abalone diver for 27 years and has spotted the awesome predator a number of times.

See also: Huge great white shark bites another on the head

See also: Spearfisherman catches great white shark attack on camera

The incident occurred a few years ago, but Mark has been chatting to WA Today about it and the challenges of his career.

He said: "It came right for me and had a look." He said he lay on the sea bed at one point and that luckily the shark swam away.

During his career diving for abalone off WA's south coast, he had lost a colleague to shark attack and has also had to use his motorised cage to charge at a shark circling him and preventing him from surfacing for air.

He says it takes a "certain type of person to work as an abalone diver", and that he always works with a shark shield and shark cage for the moments when a great white appears.

However, he's often in open water and is only in the cage when really needed.

He says sharks will often just swim past but sometimes actively try to hunt.

Mark explains: "It would start off by observing from a distance and then it would make approaches from different angles, pretty casual approaches, and usually when they're doing that they're trying not to be seen."

We think we might leave the abalone diving to you, Mark.