Great white shark swims dangerously close to surfer

By Brianne Tolj

A drone has captured footage of a great white shark swimming less than a metre away from a surfer as he dangled his feet in the water, waiting for the next wave.

The large shark was spotted making a beeline for the man and another surfer at notorious shark attack spot Lighthouse Beach, on the NSW north coast near Ballina.

It appears to chase the second surfer as he catches a wave, before turning its attention to the man who is paddling nearby, reports DailyMail.

It swims directly toward the man, who seems to be unaware of the shark's presence, and comes dangerously close before suddenly darting away.

The video was taken over the summer months by the NSW Government as part of a trial to detect shark movements, according to 9News.

Pilots based on a nearby cliff flew the drones 60 metres above the ocean within a five kilometre radius and alerted police and lifeguards when there was a shark sighting.

There have been at least 11 total shark attacks - two which were fatal - in the Ballina area since 2014, according to The Australian.

In December, Byron Bay High School stopped its students from participating in ocean-based sports due to an "unacceptable risk" posed by sharks in the water at the popular New South Wales tourist town.

The High School's decision to halt surfing came after a string of shark attacks and sightings throughout 2016, including attacks on 17-year-old Cooper Allen and 25-year-old Seneca Rus in September and on Jade Fitzpatrick, 36, in mid-October.

In February 2015, Jabez Reitman, 35, was attacked at Seven Mile Beach and a day later Tadashi Nakahara, 41 was killed by a shark at Shelly Beach.

In July Mathew Lee, 32, was mauled by a great white at Lighthouse Beach and suffered extensive injuries to his legs and former professional surfer Craig Ison, 52, required surgery after an attack at Evans Head.

In November that year Sam Morgan, 20, was rushed to hospital with severe leg injuries after a shark attack.

- Daily Mail

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