Michael Rutzen has spent more time free diving with great white sharks without a cage than any other person. He’s a South African conservationist, film maker, cage diving operator and is one of the few people in the world that can understand and respond to white shark behaviour and body language. He’s been featured in some of the most amazing video and photography with humans and great white sharks.
Rutzen started his career as a fisherman before joining the shark diving industry in 1994 establishing the pioneering techniques that are now the backbone of the industry. After finding that observing a vessel was limiting, in 1998 he began free diving or “breath hold diving” with great white sharks in 1998 and founded his cage diving business, Shark Diving Unlimited, in 2000.
He has hosted a number of very high profile guests on shark observation and diving trips including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Halle Berry, and many more. His work has been featured on Discovery Channel, 60 Minutes, IMAX and other major medias. He may be the worlds leading expert on Great White Shark behavior. I sat down with him to chat at his workshop in Gansbaai, South Africa.