Diver, Rick Anderson has a very unique friend at a very unique place. Before he can actually see his friend, he first has to strap on an oxygen tank, put a regulator into his mouth and dive into the ocean off the coast of Nobbys Beach in New South Wales, Australia.
Under the water is Anderson's friend which is a 6-foot female Port Jackson shark. Anderson recognises her by her markings on her skin, and the little shark always recognises him.
"I started playing with her about seven years ago when she was just a pup about 6 inches long. I approached her carefully so as not to spook her, then began to gently pat her. Once she got used to me, I would cradle her in my hand and talk soothingly to her through my regulator."
"I did this each time in the first season she was here. Then over the following seasons, she'd recognise me and would swim up to me for a pat and cuddle. She soon got used to me — to the point where she will swim up to me when I'm going past, and tap me on the legs until I hold my arms out for her to lay on for a cuddle. Most divers seeing this for the first time can't believe it," he added. "I don't feed her or any of the other sharks I play with I basically treat them like I would a dog."
"The biggest misconception about sharks is that they are all mindless killers lying in wait for people to enter the water so they can be devoured.”
Every shark tends to ignite fear even Port Jackson sharks which are a lot smaller than great white sharks. Anderson has been scuba diving for more than 30 years and has never lost his love for the ocean. With his love for the under water world and his friendship with this Port Jackson shark, he hopes to make people more aware of the beauty of sharks and also help people fear sharks less.