Have you come close to dying before?

Yes, in 2008 I wanted to be the first person to film breeding elephant seals under water. This was in South Georgia, Antarctica. The males weigh between 7000-10000 lbs and can be 20 feet long. I just swam up to one in the water, and it came over and spent the next five minutes trying to kill me. It was trying to crush me. I thought “So this is how it’s going to end.” I’ve always been kind of curious. I thought I was done. Luckily, my assistant was down the beach and he came running. He gained his attention and waved him off. I’ve also been attacked by walrus and chased by polar bears but, generally, any time there has been an incident it’s been my fault. For the most part, the animals I’ve photographed have been kind and peaceful when I’ve respected their space.