“We boated out to Cancun, Mexico and dropped loads of chum in the water to attract some Great Whites. In about five minutes, we had a 26 foot long Great White shark swimming around the boat,” series producer, Mikey Voss, told the NY Post.
What was meant to be a 100 metre race with a genuine Great White shark then turned to disaster.
“Michael Phelps got on the start line and the shark was approximately three metres behind, so Phelps actually got a head start. He dived in the water and started swimming. At first, the Great White shark did nothing, then when Phelps was half way through the race, it kicked in and drew up behind him,” Voss added.
As the Shark Week organisers and experts desperately tried to make the shark veer to the left of Phelps instead of following him, disaster struck.
“Phelps was dragged under the water and we heard a blood curdling scream. You actually heard the crunching sound as the Great White bit down. We filmed everything, even the part when the shark’s eyes glaze over as it attacks,” cameraman, John Weiss, revealed.
The Shark Week episode will be aired in September, however some parts will be excluded due to the nature of the content.
Michael Phelps, who lost both legs above the knee in the attack, is still recovering. He says that he will resume his swimming career and compete in the Paralympics.
“I’m just happy, Shark Week fans eventually got the footage they wanted,” Phelps said from his hospital bed.