British diver surrounded by 30 sharks while exploring waters in the Maldives

Stunning underwater footage shows how a British diver was surrounded by 30 SHARKS while exploring waters in the Maldives.

Richard Stevens said he expected to see half a dozen grey reef sharks when he dived down in Rasdhoo Madivaru, only to be shocked when more circled him.

He said dive guides were astonished by the size of the school as he described the experience as a "complete one-off" – comparing it to scenes captured on BBC nature series Blue Planet II.

In the video, the sharks can be seen swimming among fish in close proximity to Richard, who poses in front of the camera in his scuba diving gear.

He explained some female sharks on show were heavily pregnant with visible bite marks due to apparent mating.

Richard, who runs Black Manta Photography, said: "It really was a complete one-off – the guides had never seen anything like it and they dive it all the time.

"It was a truly once in a lifetime experience that we were literally in the right place at the right time for.

"For the rest of the week while diving we referred to this as our very own ‘Blue Planet II’ moment."

The footage appears edited after settings were altered to remove the blue-green hue from the water.

Richard, from Orpington, south east London, insisted no trickery was involved.

Richard set up Black Manta Photography with his partner Hayley Elizabeth.

According to the company’s website, the "self-confessed dive-mad couple" travel the world underwater to raise awareness of conservation and promote scuba diving.

Grey reef sharks are said to be among the most common species of shark in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and feed on fish, squid and shrimp. They are not thought to pose a great threat to humans.

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