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The “mind-blowing” moment a large shark came dangerously close to a panicked surfer has been caught on camera.
The eyewitness video shows a stingray breaching in the water before surfer Rolando Montes comes into focus.
Mr Montes spots the predator just metres behind him and makes a frantic bid to escape, scrambling to swim to shore.
His friend Jorge Benitez captured the heart-stopping encounter from Puerto Rico's Middles Beach, telling Yahoo News he didn’t initially notice the huge fin emerge from the water.
“Honestly I wasn’t aware of the shark until I replayed the video, because I was initially filming what I thought was a stingray by itself,” he said.
“As soon as Rolando got out of the water and told me that’s when we checked the video and confirmed it. That was pretty shocking to watch.
“He was mind-blown by the size of the dorsal and how close it was to him!”
Shark sightings rare in area
Mr Benitez, who has been surfing in Puerto Rico for twenty years, said it was the first time he’s seen a shark, however he has heard stories of sightings in some areas.
He thinks it was a hammerhead that was roughly 2.5 to 3 metres long.
Close encounter doesn't worry surfer
While Mr Montes was shaken by the close call, it wasn’t enough of a scare to keep him from paddling back out.
“He was calm and went back in 30 minutes later,” Mr Benitez said.
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