CHILLING drone photos show an oblivious paddleboarder having a much-too-close encounter with a great white shark in waters near Cape Cod, US.
“I’m still processing it,” Roger Freeman saidabout his nearly Jaws-ful moment, the New York Post reports.
Mr Freeman, 54, decided to embark on the excursion using his standing paddleboard on Sunday morning, despite warnings about the dangerous creatures.
“I remember thinking to myself, a little melodramatically, someone might think it’s crazy to be out here with sharks in the water,” he told the Cape Cod Times.
“But on this glorious Cape Cod morning it’s crazy not to be.”
At one point, Freeman said he looked around and realised he was alone, but then noticed a drone flying overheard which settled his nerves.
When he returned to the beach, he was greeted by a surf instructor who knew the drone’s operator, Cody DeGroff, and who showed him some of the alarming images.
“My first reaction was, ‘Wow! That’s an awesome picture. Who is that guy?’ ” he told the Boston Globe. “Then this surreal feeling set in.”
Mr DeGroff, who is a lifeguard and also photographs the ocean, said this was his first real time using the drone and that he immediately started snapping the images when he noticed the shark swimming into the frame.
The photos, showing an ominous shadowy figure in the water, just feet away from Freeman, were posted on social media by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy with the caption: “Close encounter of a peaceful kind.”
Conservancy officials said the images of the shark — which seems longer than the paddle board — were taken just north of the Nauset public beach.
Their aeroplane spotted two other great whites close to the shore earlier in the day, prompting officials to close the beach to swimming for an hour.
Mr Freeman wishes there were more proactive measures to protect surfers, swimmers and beachgoers from the dangers posed by sharks but at the same time, he said: “We’re going into their world.
“We have the knowledge and capacity to adjust to their behaviour. They don’t.
“Life is full of risks, and for me the key is taking measured risks.”
Originally published as Giant great white shark stalks paddleboarder