Professional photographer Kenny Melendez was filming on Miami Beach on Friday morning when he unexpectedly captured a tiger shark cruising among swimmers close to the shoreline. The swimmers were oblivious to its presence.
Melendez was showing two clients the workings of a camera drone. He zeroed in on a female swimmer doing the backstroke as part of her morning exercise routine near the shore when a moving shadow caught his eye.
"As I flew the drone closer, I realized it was a large shark," Melendez told GrindTV in an email. "I got closer and noticed the striped pattern and knew immediately it was a tiger shark."
Melendez shared the video with CBS Miami:
Melendez estimated that the tiger shark was 7 to 9 feet in length and "seemed very uninterested in the people in the water."
"I was shocked to see how close the shark got to the man, and it didn't seem to care at all that the swimmer was in its path," Melendez told GrindTV.
"The man standing in the water didn’t seem to notice the shark, despite its size. He was most likely distracted by the noise of the drone, as you can see him looking up, and probably couldn’t see the shark himself.
"After he looks up at the drone, I noticed him walking closer to the shore/the shark, and without any panic, making me believe he didn’t spot the tiger shark."
The other two swimmers didn't seem to notice, either.
Melendez said the drone was too far away to alert the swimmers, but as it turned out, he didn't need to. The tiger shark continued lazily swimming south to the jetty before going offshore. It came closer to shore again by the inlet at the end of South Beach, but no incidents were reported.
Read more about tiger sharks on GrindTV