The Newcastle area north of Sydney, is a great white shark nursery, although, despite a spate of shark attacks further north around Byron Bay, the locals have remained relatively unscathed.
But this week a dad watching his son surf off the holiday playground of Port Stephens witnessed a close encounter of the scary kind when a great white “dropped in” on the 10-year-old’s wave.
Real estate agent Chris Hasson had his camera out on the rocks at Samurai Beach on Tuesday evening as 10-year-old Eden latched onto a gentle left break. He took some spectacular shots in the soft evening light with a brooding, dark storm as the backdrop.
Hasson had already spotted “a big dark shape” and was about to call in the group when he saw “something out of the corner of my eye”.
Eden had already begun paddling out for his next wave as his dad reviewed the photos.
Here’s how Chris Hasson explained what happened next on Facebook: “I zoom in on the second photo and see he’s just done a backhand snap on an 8-foot great white shark’s head”.
“Lucky he didn’t fall off. This photo is going straight to the pool room,” he said.
Hasson called everyone in to show them the image. His take is the shark “rolled over having a good look at his yummy yellow new wetsuit”.
Here’s a close up of Eden’s close shave:
While a Southern Cross University professor told the ABC it looked like the shark was trying to get out of the way of the young surfer, world champion Mick Fanning knows all too well that’s not always the case.
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