Dun DUN! Dun DUN! Dun DUN! Do you hear that? Paddle boarder Roger Freeman certainly didn’t.
Freeman spent the morning of his last day of vacation paddling around the waters of Cape Cod near Orleans, Massachusetts. While Freeman knew a great white shark was recently spotted eating a seal in the area, he didn’t let the fact bother him.
“I remember thinking to myself, a little melodramatically, someone might think it’s crazy to be out here with sharks in the water,” Freeman told Cape Cod Times. “But on this glorious Cape Cod morning I say it’s crazy not to be.”
During his peaceful morning jaunt, Freeman spied a drone flying overhead — but what he didn’t notice was the massive great white shark swimming just several feet away. The paddle boarder didn’t realize just how close he was to the infamous animal until he arrived safely on shore.
Shortly after getting off his paddle board, Freeman was greeted by a man who introduced himself as Cory DeGroff, the individual who was operating the drone. DeGroff showed the photos he took of Freeman’s paddle board ride from above, and in the pictures there was the clear shape of a shark swimming just below the surface, next to Freeman’s board.
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which has been conducting a five-year shark population study, confirmed, based on the shape of the animal, that what DeGroff captured on camera was likely a great white shark.
The uneventful brush with an apex predator has left Freeman “still processing” his encounter, but he did tell the local paper that he hopes his experience will encourage others to respect marine life and push authorities to create some kind of shark warning system for beachgoers in the area.