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PHOTO: Life guard captures jaw-dropping encounter between shark & paddleboarder

Posted at 6:49 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 10:06:35-04

One Massachusetts man had a very close — too close  — encounter with a great white shark at the tail end of shark week.

Roger Freeman was paddleboarding off the shores of Nauset Beach in Cape Cod. Unbeknown to Freeman, a large great white shark was lurking just feet away from him.

Massachusetts lifeguard Cody DeGroff was on the beach, testing out his new drone when he spotted the oversized ocean predator's silhouette in the water.

"I noticed there was something moving in my frame and it was actually a white shark so I started taking pictures," DeGroff told ABC News. "I panned up and that's when I saw the paddleboarder and the shark swimming closer to each other. It was a crazy, crazy scenario."

The shark continued swimming and eventually moved away from Freeman.

"It'd be very unusual to have an encounter, I thought," Freeman said. "I might have fallen on him if I had lost my balance."

Freeman, 54, said he was unaware that the shark was so close until DeGroff showed him the photos.

"Don't look down is what they say, right?" Freeman remarked. "I'm glad I got to go home for breakfast and not be breakfast."

In the wake of the incredible encounter, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy — a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and conservation of sharks through research — tweeted about a similar incident at the exact same location two years ago.

Beachgoers, especially in the Cape Cod area, should always be hyper-vigilant of sharks in the water.

Last Friday, beachgoers were evacuated in Nauset after a shark was spotted attacking a seal. Afterward, the seal’s bloody carcass was captured on video floating just feet from the shore.