ORLEANS (CBS) – A great white shark was caught on camera swimming very close to an unsuspecting paddleboarder out on his morning paddle.

“It was pretty shocking and startling and amazing. It’s an amazing picture,” said Roger Freeman, who didn’t know how close a call it was until he saw a picture later.

The shark was lurking just a few feet beneath him.

“When I first got on the water I saw a shadow in the water, you know, 20 or 30 yards away that I thought was a seal,” Freeman said. “It’s possible that was the shark, I don’t know.”

Freeman was out along Nauset Beach on Sunday enjoying the cool breeze and nice waves, not knowing the shark was right there.

“I was really enjoying the experience and trying not to think too much about the potential for a shark. So it sure came as a surprise when I saw that photo,” he said.

A shark swims near paddleboarder Roger Freeman off Nauset Beach (Image credit Cody DeGroff)

It was quite the talk among beachgoers in Orleans. Sharks are on everyone’s mind. “It makes me say I’m not going to go in above my knees,” one beachgoer said.

There have been many close encounters with sharks off Cape Cod recently, including a 12-foot-long Great White that got into a tugging war with a fisherman who had just landed a striper. The shark bit its tail off and tried to get the rest of it.

Experts say warmer water temperatures and food are allowing sharks to arrive in the area earlier. There’s also more people out in the water, which is why shark sightings are happening more frequently.

“I was glad to get off the water and go eat breakfast and not be breakfast,” Freeman said with a smile.

Shark sightings are expected to increase in the area.

Paul Burton

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