- Footage shows stingray gliding itself over a diver’s body on ocean floor
- Diver and documentary maker Johnny Debnam was free-diving, meaning diving without a breathing apparatus
- He lay motionless on the ocean floor and stingray came to investigate
- Stingrays are potentially deadly animals due to their dangerous barbs
Incredible footage has captured the moment a huge stingray nibbles on a freediver’s head, gliding back and forth over the man’s body gently on the ocean floor.
The video shows the incredibly peaceful encounter between the ray and Johnny Debnam, a 29-year-old commercial diver and ocean lover.
Mr Debnam was free diving in water four metres deep; holding his breath and diving down to the depths of the ocean on Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia.
Johnny Debnam says he felt completely at ease with the stingray, although he was aware of the risks
The commercial diver was free diving four metres beneath the ocean when he had his snuggle with the ray
‘I was totally at peace. I loved that thing going over the top of me,’ Johnny Debnam said of the experience
The video shows the swimmer completely motionless in the seagrass, with the enormous 150 kilogram ray rubbing itself back and forward over his body – even nibbling at his head.
‘I blew all my air out and was totally calm and at his level,’ explained Mr Debnam during a mini documentary produced for his production company Terra Australis TV.
Mr Debnam was completely enveloped underneath the stingray, but he remained calm and insists he relished every minute of the wonderful experience.
The stingray is a potentially dangerous creature. If provoked it may use its spiky tail – known as a barb- to spear the victim and inject them with a deadly poison.
Tragically, animal activist and Australian icon Steve Irwin was killed after a deadly encounter with a stingray.
In September 2006 the creature stabbed him with its barb ‘hundreds of times’ as he filmed a documentary near Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
However Mr Debnam’s relationship with the stingray was incredibly harmonious.
He is experienced with marine life and in the video demonstrates his behaviour to be gentle and threatening, and the stingray appears to reward him with some appreciative cuddles!
Johnny Debnam did not have any breathing equipment on when he let all his air out and calmly lay still on the ocean floor
The majestic stingray swum over him three times, enveloping him under his body as he glided on top
‘Those things are huge. They’re massive and they could really mess you up if they wanted to,’ Debnam said during his Terris Australis TV documentary.
‘But, they won’t if they don’t want to.’
Responding to his calm nature, the curious stingray repeatedly glides over him, as if to try to determine what exactly it had found nestled amongst the reeds.
Debnam is ecstatic after his snuggled with the majestic, friendly creature.
‘I was totally at peace. I loved that thing going over the top of me,’ he said.
‘It was awesome! It did it three times and I wanted it to do it again.
‘It was a bit of a rush really!’
Responding to his calm nature, the curious stingray repeatedly glides over him, as if to try to determine what exactly it had found nestled amongst the reeds
The production company he co-created, Terra Australis TV, specialises in creating stunning cinematography of the incredible creatures beneath the ocean’s surface in Western Australia.
Debnam and his cameraman Cameron Wallace are passionate about showing the ocean respect whilst exploring and filming the wonders of the sea.
‘That’s what makes you feel alive. Natural, awesome, pure things like (swimming with a stingray),’ said Debnam.
‘You can’t buy it.’
Debnam and his cameraman Cameron Wallace are passionate about showing the ocean respect whilst exploring and filming the wonders of the sea