A Netflix docuseries crew had a terrifying brush with danger when they were attacked by 15-foot-long tiger sharks while filming in Hawaii.
The incident, described as “horrific” and reminiscent of scenes from the movie “Jaws,” occurred during the production of the four-part climate documentary series titled “Our Planet II.”
According to Toby Nowlan, the director of the show, the team was shooting an underwater sequence with tiger sharks in the shallows at Laysan, one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
However, the plan took a drastic turn when two sharks leapt at the crew’s inflatable boats and caused significant damage.
Nowlan shared his account with the Radio Times, stating, “The original idea was to do an underwater shoot with the tiger sharks waiting in the shallows at Laysan, but the first day the tiger sharks were around, the crew got into these inflatable boats – and two sharks attacked them. It was like something out of ‘Jaws.'”
The crew, feeling panicked, had to quickly make their way to the nearby beach, which was only about 100 meters away, for an emergency landing.
As a result of the attack, they were unable to capture any underwater footage for the documentary. Nowlan further revealed that it was the second shark attack they had experienced that day.
He described a horrifying moment when a tiger shark lunged at their boat, causing it to sustain extensive damage. “This ‘v’ of water came streaming towards us, and this tiger shark leapt at the boat and bit huge holes in it. The whole boat exploded. We were trying to get it away, and it wasn’t having any of it. It was horrific. That was the second shark that day to attack us,” he recounted.
The behavior of the sharks was deemed extremely unusual, with Nowlan speculating that their increased aggression could be attributed to hunger caused by a lack of natural food sources. He stated, “They were incredibly hungry, so there might not have been enough natural food, and they were just trying anything they came across in the water.”
This incident occurred shortly after reports of an increase in Hawaii’s tiger shark population, accompanied by a series of shark attacks. Although the chances of being bitten by a shark in Hawaii are incredibly low (less than one in a million, according to Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources), tiger sharks are considered particularly dangerous due to their size and indiscriminate feeding behavior.
The documentary series “Our Planet II,” narrated by renowned British broadcaster and biologist David Attenborough, is currently available for streaming on Netflix, providing viewers with a captivating exploration of the world’s ecosystems and the challenges they face.