Drone footage has captured professional surfer Matt Wilkinson’s narrow escape from a 1.5m great white shark off the coast of Ballina in northern New South Wales.
The world championship tour surfer was paddling on his board near Sharpes Beach on Wednesday when a shark swam quickly up behind him.
“I heard a splash and a noise and looked around and couldn’t see anything,” Wilkinson said, according to a statement from Surf Life Saving NSW.
Surf lifesavers were operating a drone overhead and were able to broadcast a warning from the aircraft’s speakers.
“The drone came down and told me that there was a dangerous shark in the area, return to the beach,” Wilkinson said.
“I got to the shore feeling a bit weird and the lifeguards showed me the footage and I realised how close it came without knowing it was there. It looks like it’s going for my leg