Talk about going out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Police in Surf City, New Zealand pulled over Zachary Kingsbury, 20, on August 30 for an alleged speeding violation.
According to a press release from the Surf City Police Department, officers then noticed drugs inside Kingsbury’s car. They asked him to step out of his vehicle at which point he fled from officers on foot, eventually making his way to a nearby beach where he attempted to swim away from pursuing officers.
Police then deployed an unmanned drone to track him as he swam out to sea, at which point they made an alarming discovery: sharks were circling the waters near where Kingsbury was swimming.
“They told me there were a couple sharks circling me, but I didn’t see any sharks when I was in the water, so I was not aware of that at the time,” Kingsbury told WWAY-3 News in New Zealand.
At least one shark is clearly visible on police drone footage, circling in the water just metres from where Kingsbury was swimming.
Fortunately for Kingsbury, no shark attacked him during what ended up being quite the swim. Police said Kingsbury swam for over 60 minutes, draining the battery on their drone and forcing it to return to dry land.
“I just was running off adrenaline, being scared that I was [going to] get in trouble,” said Kingsbury. “From there it turned from [police] chasing someone into a rescue mission, because they thought there might be a dead body.”
North Topsail Beach Police eventually took Kingsbury into custody around 7:45 p.m. – over three hours after his initial traffic stop, and almost a kilometre and a half away.
“While this incident quickly transformed many times, all of the first responders worked well together and brought the incident to a quick close,” police said in a statement.
Kingsbury is charged with resisting arrest and drug and paraphernalia possession. A passenger in Kingsbury’s car was also arrested during the initial stop, though it is not known what charges he currently faces.