A young surfer had a heart-stopping close encounter with a great white shark off the NSW north coast Tuesday evening.
Ten-year-old Eden Hasson was riding the waves at Samauri Beach, Port Stephens, with mates and his sister Olivia, when his dad took photos of him surfing beside the 2.5-metre beast.
His dad Chris, who called his boy the “shark whisperer”, took the heart-stopping pictures from the beach before he realised Eden was not alone in the deep blue.
“I'm on the rocks taking photos of Eden,” he recounted on his Facebook page.
“I see a big dark shape and about to call the small group in and Eden takes off on a left and smashes it to the beach.
“Just as he is taking off I see something out of the corner of my eye.”
While the boy was paddling out, his dad zoomed in on the pictures he’d just taken and couldn’t believe his eyes to see Eden had just done a backhand snap over the head of a 2.5m great white.
He quickly raised the alarm yelling “Shark!” and called everyone back to shore.
The young surfer told the Daily Telegraph he had been surfing for about an hour-and-a-half before the shark-spotting, and remembered noticing a lot of fish in the water.
“When I paddled I saw [the shark] ahead just floating around, and when I came up to do the turn I thought it must have been just seaweed,” he said.
He said he felt his board hit something.
“I was 100 per cent sure it wasn’t a surfer because I knew who was out there.
“If I had known it was the shark in the wave I would have freaked out and fallen off.”
Speaking to Sunrise on Friday morning, the young competitive surfer said: “I was lucky I didn’t fall off because if I did fall off I would have hit he great white shark.”
His dad joked the photo was “going straight to the pool room”.
“[It’s] not everyday you get a photo surfing over a big white,” he added.
The Nelson Bay father said told his Facebook friends the shark had rolled over to have a good look at his son’s “yummy” new yellow wetsuit.
Mr Hasson said Eden had been out surfing since the shark-spotting and the incident has not put the family off surfing.