Aerial footage has captured the heart-stopping moment a large shark emerged “out of the shallows” and came within metres of an oblivious Sydney swimmer.
Lewis, an ocean photographer who captured the close call at Maroubra beach on Tuesday, told Yahoo News it was exciting to watch from above as the grey nurse “went about its business”.
In the video shared to Instagram the man is seen taking a solo evening dip in waist-deep water when a dark two-metre figure emerges from the swell and edges closer and closer.
He unknowingly comes within touching distance of the curious predator, who appears to lose interest and swim away.
“It was good to watch the interaction,” Lewis said, adding it was unusual to see a grey nurse cruising so close to shore.
“Quite amazing to be honest.”
Lewis has captured countless encounters with sharks off the coast of Sydney.
“I have seen all species of sharks come into Maroubra Bay. All species show different behaviours,” he said.
“It’s amazing how busy the oceans are in Sydney. I have seen some funny reactions from surfers and swimmers.”
Grey nurse survival under threat
With a pointed snout and visible teeth, grey nurse sharks look scary but they’re actually quite placid and generally don’t pose a threat to humans.
An old-fashion misconception that grey nurses are ‘man-eaters’ sparked an intensive culling campaign in the 1950s and 60s, leading to the species being listed as "critically endangered" on the east coast of Australia.
To this day, they are still threatened by accidental hookings on fishing gear and captures in beach safety nets.
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