The photograph, which was shared on Facebook, made the rounds on social media after showing a surfer being stalked by a shark dorsal fin. The caption that accompanied the photo read: “A reminder to all beachgoers, as we continue into peak season for white shark activity.
“At 8am on Friday, there was a near encounter with a white shark and a surfer off Nauset Beach.
“Please remain vigilant.”
The photo shows a surfer riding a wave on his stomach close to the coastline on a surfboard.
As he looks over his shoulder, a shark’s dorsal fin emerges from the water.
The surfer in the photo is Devon Zimmerman, who said he was only in the water for two minutes before the menacing fin appeared on the water’s surface.
He told a local news organisation: “It was pure shock, and you see literally the moment when I recognise what it is, and my only response is to lift my feet out of the water and drop my jaw.”
Mr Zimmerman’s wife Sarah McAteer said it made her feel “sick to the stomach”.
She added: “It made me nauseous.
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However, he continued to snap photos of Mr Zimmerman as he paddled back towards the shore.
The surfer said he was careful to paddle back in towards the shore as he didn’t want to provoke an attack.
He said: “I thought, ‘I don’t want to splash too much to bring too much attention to myself, but I also need to go very fast.’”
Although he grew up on the west coast, the close encounter was his first with a great white shark.
Mr Zimmerman was unharmed by the encounter.
More than 150 great white sharks have been spotted off the coast of Massachusetts in the summer months.
Great white shark sightings are a daily occurrence in the area in the summer months.
Shark attacks are rare in the area but the latest fatal attack was this year.
Before this year, the last fatality was in 1936.
Many people blame the media and films for the unfair depiction of shark attacks, especially great whites.