Great white shark shadows unsuspecting paddleboarder

An unwitting beachgoer has come perilously close to a lurking great white shark as he took to the water on a paddleboard.

Roger Freeman was enjoying a break in Orleans, Massachusetts, in the US when he decided to take to the water at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod on Sunday, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Despite a shark attack on a seal in the local area a day before, Mr Freeman ventured out alone on a paddleboard.

Roger Freeman was just metres from a great white shark during a paddleboard session on Sunday. Source: Cody DeGroff via Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

“I remember thinking to myself, a little melodramatically, someone might think it’s crazy to be out here with sharks in the water,” he told the publication.

As he returned to shore, he was greeted by a man who was friends with a photographer who had been filming from above with a drone.

Cody DeGroff had captured the heart-stopping moment a great white shark navigated its way just metres underneath an unsuspecting Mr Freeman.

The stunned paddleboarder says he had come across a shadow in the water but had dismissed it as a seal.

“I’m still processing it,” Mr Freeman said.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy took to Twitter to share Mr DeGroff’s images of the close encounter.

“Close encounter of a peaceful kind,” the conservation group said.

The non-profit had previously spotted two great whites from its airplane the same day and had ordered swimmers from the beach.

While Mr Freeman understands the complexity of the task at hand for authorities on Cape Cod, he says a heads up may have changed his mind about going out on the board.

“I would have certainly appreciated if there was a warning system,” he said.

The close shave comes as another water sports enthusiast was photographed dangerously close to a shark earlier this year.

In May, the moment a two-metre shark stalked a Bondi surfer was caught on camera.