A freelance photographer who specializes in surfing photos stopped at North Beach in Western Australia on Sunday when he saw four surfers on the calm waters. Then he observed the surfers doing something curious.
"I noticed the guys coming in really quickly and I thought that was strange, so I lifted the camera and took a quick shot," Rick Knoppert told PerthNow.
The dramatic photo shows the four surfers paddling to shore with one of them looking directly at the dorsal fin of a massive shark.
The Daily Mail posted 9News video of the shark from above, giving a sense as to its size:
"I didn't realize until I got it on the computer that there was a fin there as well," Knoppert said.
With his 600mm lens, Knoppert continued taking photos of the shark and the relieved surfers.
"It was chasing fish around," Knoppert told WAToday.com. "At one point, a big fish jumped up in front of it. I didn't get that shot, unfortunately."
The photographer told The West Australian they estimated the shark being 11- to 13-feet long.
"It was a bit of a rush for them, and their girlfriends were happy they were out of the water," Knoppert told The West Australian. "The anxiety or the nervousness of seeing a shark so close, I think they were all pretty happy to get out. They were paddling hard."
And for good reason. Last month there were two fatal shark attacks in Western Australia, so these surfers weren't about to stick around.
"One of the guys was gesturing with his hands the size of the fin," Knoppert told PerthNow. "Another guy said he was going to buy a lottery ticket."
The shark disappeared from sight once the surfers were on dry land. One of them went to nearby Tom's Break to tell three people to get out of the water, warning of the shark's presence.
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