Ulladulla based surfer/musician Hein Cooper will never forget the day he and some other surfers came close to a shark.
The encounter happened on Saturday at Kioloa and hearing Hein talk about the experience is memorising.
He talks about being able to feel the shark's powerful aurora and the encounter was even captured on video.
Dane Pidgeon just happened to be in the right place at the right time to film the surfers being chased onto rocks by a great white shark.
He says the shark stalked and chased the surfers.
"I see sharks at this spot all the time but I've never seen one go after someone. That's new," Dane said
Dane is also a surfer himself and could have easily been in the water, alongside Hein. Hein described the encounter as "one hell of a story".
He was surfing a wave he had only ever surfed once before out on an the edge of a headland with about five other people when he had a look around.
"I looked over to my right after a while and about 35 metres away I saw a big fin moving in our direction," he said.
Hein thought at first it might be a seal because "sometimes seals lean on their side, put their flippers up and could look like a shark".
Hein looked away and did not give it any thought.
"I looked back again and it was five to 10 metres closer to us and moving directly in our direction," he said.
"At that point, I said to Genji Pitt who was sitting next to me 'I'm pretty sure that's a shark'."
However, they stuck with the seal theory.
"Another guy chimed in and said supposedly there had been a lot of sharks around lately," Hein said.
While the conversation was going on, Hein turned around and the creature was now five to 10 metres away from them. He saw a huge fin with scars all over it moving straight for them.
"I literally shouted out 'shark'," Hein said.
They all paddled straight towards the rocks, got to safety and debriefed for the next 20 minutes
He said the shark did not come from out of the sea to them but came from the beach/peninsula and around them.
"I think all of our kicking and intensive paddling as a group made it a little anxious about going straight in for us," he said.
"I will never ever ever forget that moment when I sat there with a great white moving in on us from about eight metres away.
"I will never forget that fin and the way it moved towards us - it was so calm, cool, curious, collected and so large and intimidating. I have never really had that experience before."
Hein said he could feel the shark's powerful aurora and as a surfer, he knows you have to expect such situations.
He said the experience all felt a bit unreal and did not think that someone was going to be injured.
Hein stressed that if the shark did happen to take him or another surfer that under no circumstances would he would want this noble creature to be hunted down.
They did some research on what the fin looked like and they are 100 per cent certain it was a great white, between four to five metres long
"It was insane," was how he summed up the experience.
"Maybe take it easy out there at the moment as nature seems to be really turning it on and apparently there are heaps of sharks and fish - everything is just alive - it's amazing.
"I feel so grateful to have had an experience like that and to also come close to an animal like that and not die."
He was back in the water the next day.
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