Daredevil's close encounter after bird-brained idea

By Nathan Paull

To most people, putting a birdcage on your head and jumping into the ocean with a live tiger shark is an obviously stupid thing to do.

But it took a close call for Gold Coast daredevil Shaun Harrington to learn that lesson the hard way.

Mr Harrington, 27, jumped into the water off Coolangatta last weekend, armed with only a flimsy birdcage, to be filmed with a tiger shark that had been hooked on a line by a professional fisherman friend.

The "cage diving" stunt, to promote his and twin brother Dean's clothing line, was uploaded on YouTube this week.

The 33-second clip shows Mr Harrington in the water next to the shark, before the 2.5-metre predator narrowly misses him as it lunges for him and slams into the boat.

The close call prompts a screaming and cursing Mr Harrington to leap back into the boat while using the $50 cage to fend off the shark.

"I was pretty much walking on water to get back into the boat," he told AAP. "Mate, there's no way in hell I'd ever jump back in there again with it."

But Mr Harrington, an avid surfer, said the incident would not stop him from returning to the waves.

"There's too many other people that can get eaten," he joked.

Not surprisingly, James Cook University shark expert Colin Simpfendorfer was not impressed.

"I just shook my head and thought it wasn't very smart," he said.

"It takes a split second for it to go very bad."


Shaun Harrington had a lucky escape after going near a shark with a birdcage on his head.
Shaun Harrington had a lucky escape after going near a shark with a birdcage on his head.

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