An Open Water dive student saw an extremely rare megamouth shark during a training dive in Komodo, Indonesia.
It was an Open Water training dive like few others. Penny Bielich was on Day Three of her course on Komodo when a massive creature decided to pop by for a close inspection. ‘Fortunately,’ said Penny, ‘I had an underwater camera with me, as no-one would ever have believed us without the video footage!’
Penny, from the Isle of Man, had been joined on one of her first open water dives by a megamouth shark.
Alone in the water with her instructor Heikki Innanen, who shouted through his regulator to get Penny to video the shark, she quickly grabbed her camera and started filming. ‘In all honesty,’ said Penny, I had no idea what kind of shark it was. Heikki knew almost immediately, and knew there was no risk to us.’
The footage is remarkable as until recently, it is estimated that there have only been around 120 megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) sightings since it was first discovered in Hawaii in 1979.
Recently there has been two megamouth sightings within days of each other in Japan (one of which sadly died a day later).
‘If anyone is considering taking up scuba diving, my advice would be to go for it,’ said Penny, ‘You never know what you are going to see! I live on The Isle of Man, and basking sharks are fairly common in these waters,’ she added, ‘so I am hoping that I can continue my new hobby, and hopefully one day see a basking shark, also in its natural environment.’
With thanks to Penny for her extraordinary tale and allowing us to share her video footage.