Now that was a close encounter.
On Sept. 21, Surfer Andy Johnston was catching some waves in the waters off Esperance in Western Australia when a "curious" shark swam right up near him. Instead of freaking out, Johnston decided to remain calm.
"I'd rather try to hold my ground against it and not freak out and make a commotion," he told the Esperance Express. "It seemed just curious and I didn't want to give it a reason to chase me so I tried to behave casually and keep an eye on it. But I didn't know it came up quite so close as I was paddling into the wave to come into the beach with the other lads."
Johnston, who was able to get away once a wave came and the shark swam back out to sea, did not realize how close he came to the finned creature until he saw a series of photographs taken by onlooker Frits de Bruyn.
"At the time I didn't think it was that big a shark and that close, but I did lose sight of it when it came right up behind me," he told ABC Goldfields-Esperance. "It was a lot more intense than I thought it was at the time; obviously it was a very close call."
The waters off the coast of Esperance were later the scene of a shark attack on Oct. 2. Sean Pollard, 23, was surfing in Wylie Bay when he was attacked by a shark, the Independent reported.