Seeing a shark in the ocean would be enough for many people to decide to stay out of the water. That’s not the case for 10-year-old Eden Hasson. Already a talented surfer, Hasson knows how to really maneuver his board. Even so, he sure wasn’t prepared for what happened last week.
As Hasson surfed off New South Wales, Australia, and his dad, Chris Hasson, snapped photos from shore, an apparent great white shark decided to cozy up to the young surfer, who was oblivious to the situation as he concentrated on riding a pretty good wave.
Chris Hasson remarkably caught the equally fascinating and frightening image on film.
“Just as he is taking off I see something out of the corner of my eye,” Chris Hasson wrote on Facebook. “I keep shooting and after he finishes and starts paddling out 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.”
“Eden rode the wave to the beach,” Chris Hanson said. “I quickly zoomed in on the second photo and was shocked when I saw the image. Eden was halfway out and I called everyone in. I showed them the photo and everyone was in awe, laughing. One of the surfers said just before the wave a large school of mullet arrived.”
Shark researcher Andrew Chin said the shark, which he noted might have been a great white, was not in attack mode, as the shark looked more “spooked” than aggressive, he told the Associated Press.
“There is no way that is a hunting approach,” Chin said.
The young surfer’s father showed him the picture of the shark just feet away from his board. Hasson said he was glad he didn’t notice it.
“If I was on the wave and I saw it I probably would have freaked out and fell off,” he told Australia Today. “I was lucky I didn’t fall off.”
But it appears not even a harrowing experience with a potential great white shark can keep Eden from catching another wave. He was back in the water the next day, ready to ride.