Warning as shark darts towards family wading in shallows at Aussie beach

The shark sped at an incredible speed towards the shore as people looked on.

Many of us think if we stick close enough to the shoreline we will remain safe from the jaws of a shark while swimming at the beach.

One "incredible" video has slashed that theory to pieces after showing a shark speeding straight into the shallow water mere metres in front of a stunned beachgoer at Monkey Mia in Western Australia.

The large tiger shark was racing after a sea turtle, swimming right up onto the shoreline and momentarily beaching itself on the sand before swivelling and racing back out into deeper water.

Images of the large tiger shark swimming right up onto the sand on the WA beach, chasing a sea turtle.
A person standing on the edge with their feet in the water may have been at risk from this fast-moving tiger shark. Source: Facebook

While this sight has sent shockwaves through those who have seen the footage, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Bond University, Doctor Daryl McPhee told Yahoo News Australia it’s not unusual behaviour.

"Tiger sharks are specialists at eating marine turtles and are one of the few natural predators adult sea turtles have," he explained. "It is absolutely common for them to get that close where turtles are feeding or nesting."

Family swimming in the water 'not long' before shark came

The Aussie woman who shared the video on Facebook said she was in "shock", but that it was one of the "best moments" of her life despite her family swimming "waist-deep" in that same spot "not long before it came".

"Surely they don't usually come to shore, do they? What an experience!" one person responded, astounded by the occurrence.

"That's incredible footage. What an amazing piece of nature to see," another exclaimed.

Expert says it’s a 'good reminder' for people swimming near turtles

Tiger sharks are known to be one of three species responsible for most shark bites on humans. "This is a good reminder for people to be wary when swimming near where turtles are nesting or where there is turtle activity," McPhee says.

He does note that the tiger shark is "clearly focused on hunting turtles" and is not particularly interested in people on this occasion.

Where am I more likely to be attacked by a shark?

Gavin Naylor who curates the Florida Museum of Natural History’s internationally recognised database on shark bites previously told Yahoo he believes being further out isn’t always the problem because a lot of shark bites happen relatively close to shore.

Instead, being a distance away from other swimmers could increase your chances of being attacked. "One thing that we see in the data is that most shark attack victims are singled out when they are at some distance from a crowd. This is why we advise people to swim in groups," he said.

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