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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019
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Partner of New Zealand PM fought an 'agitated' shark while diving

“First bloke” Clarke Gayford hosts a fishing show.

Dolphin A labeled image of gayford and the shark (aka, not a dolphin). Source: Twitter/Clarke Gayford

THE PARTNER OF New Zealand’s Prime Minister has revealed that he fought off a shark with a pole while diving off Auckland.

“First bloke” Clarke Gayford, the partner of Jacinda Ardern, tweeted a picture of himself keeping the predator at bay while a dolphin swims in the background.

However, instead of launching a Flipper-style rescue to chase off the shark, Gayford said the dolphin was content to watch the underwater drama unfold from a distance.

“So it turns out that not only do dolphins not help, they actually quite like watching,” he tweeted. “A childhood myth is ruined.”

Gayford, who hosts a television fishing show, said he was helping a camera operator shoot footage for the educational show Young Ocean Explorers when the incident occurred.

He said he was “swimming safety”, or keeping watch so the cameraman could concentrate on filming bottle-nosed dolphins and false killer whales off Great Barrier Island near Auckland.

“They were feeding on kingfish and had been tearing some large ones in half and putting blood in the water, which attracted several large bronze whaler sharks,” Gayford told AFP.

I got in the water and they turned their attention on me, I had to fend the large one pictured off with a pole several times, as it was getting quite agitated.
We got out not long after.

It is not Gayford’s only recent encounter with a shark.

In March, he tweeted a picture of himself with “an overly amorous whale shark” that he said accidentally pinned him against a boat.

Gayford will soon swap his deep-sea adventures for the role of stay-at-home dad when Ardern gives birth to the couple’s first child, due on 17 June.

Ardern plans to take six weeks maternity leave then resume running the country.

© – AFP 2018

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