Daniel Caban, a 20-year-old university student, was paddling onto a wave at Caves Beach, south of Newcastle, just moments before the shark breached the water about 2pm yesterday.
“It was just me and one other guy out there,”
“A big set came through, he got the first one, I got the second one, but neither of us had any idea what happened.”
Mr Caban said the reality of his proximity to the predator still hadn’t sunk in.
“I’ve never seen a shark in the water before,” he said.
“Everyone else around here has their shark stories, but I’d never seen one. I guess I still haven’t, but I’ve definitely got a story now.”
Photographer Nathan McLaren said he was snapping a sequence of Mr Caban’s ride when he witnessed the sudden breach.
“Everyone was in a bit of shock, saying, ‘did that really just happen?’” he told the newspaper.
“But I went back through the photos and there it was. It jumped out of the water about a metre and I would say it would have been at least 3.5m long.”
© ninemsn 2016