Netflix’s Our Planet II crew experienced “something out of Jaws” after they got attacked by 15-foot tiger sharks while filming an episode for the docuseries.
Speaking to Forbes, series producer Huw Cordey shared his extraordinary journey in making the docuseries Our Planet II, including the time when the crew got attacked by tiger sharks during filming.
Recalling the incident, Cordey shared that they initially planned to do an underwater shoot with the tiger sharks in the shallows of Laysan seas in Hawaii, but ran into trouble due to a “horrific incident.”
“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,” he said, describing the incident as “something out of Jaws.”
“The crew was panicked, and basically made an emergency landing on the sand,” he added.
Detailing the incident, director and producer Toby Nowlan shared with British media Radio Times how they tried to get away from the shark attack.
“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,” Nowlan recalled.
“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 added.
The crew managed to rush to the land, which was only about 100 meters away, before their inflatable boat completely deflated.
Looking back, Nowlan said that the attacking behaviors of the sharks were “extremely unusual.”
“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,” he explained.
Tiger sharks are some of the largest sharks in the world. They consume pretty much everything—from sea snakes and seals to birds and turtles, among others.
If you happen to find yourself in a situation that's straight-out-of-a-Jaws movie, the Victorian Fisheries Authority said it's important to keep calm, keep your eyes on it, and help yourself slowly get out of the waters. Use whatever gear you have as a weapon and try to attack the eyes, nose, and gills. You can also make sudden movements to scare it away. "Defend yourself—playing dead doesn't work," the VFA stressed.