On his Facebook page, Mark Healey identifies himself as "a professional big wave surfer." He's also a thrill-seeker who dabbles in riding sharks, because avoiding them altogether like the rest of us prefer to do is apparently kind of a bore.
A few weeks back, in an interview with Surfing magazine, Healey said riding sharks is "not a sport" before explaining why he does it:
The whole point of doing it is to make people think about how they perceive sharks. If more people are feeling comfortable with sharks and seeing them in different ways, then that's a good thing.
I've seen Jaws, so I'm good with my perception of sharks, thanks. Healey goes on to explain how and why he stiff-armed that shark in the video above:
But when we were heading back to the boat, about a half hour after we'd got on that shark and it was really mellow, it turned on me. I was on the surface and it swam right at me [see above video]. And since I didn't have anything in my hands, I basically had to give this 12-foot tiger shark the Heisman. And that just shows how quickly things can change, because that shark could not have been more disinterested in us earlier.
Oh. OK. And just because, here's a photo Healey tweeted out a couple of days ago. It was taken when he was out on a leisurely swim with a fucking whale shark (which only eats plankton):