The surfer in the photos is Andy Johnston and he was surfing with friends at the time the shark appeared. Several people from shore spotted the shark and began screaming and honking car horns to alert the surfers to exit the water which they all did, minus Andy.
Andy told a local paper, the Esperance Express, that he would rather hold his ground and not freak out thus creating unnecessary commotion.
He added that, "If you're going to get chomped then you're going to get chomped - there's nothing you can do about it."
But in viewing the photos, the folks at the Marine Conservation Science Institute stated on their Facebook page that when a great white shows this type of interest in someone, they should leave the water immediately.
When a white shark "investigates" a swimmer or surfer in this manner, it is an exceedingly serious situation. Most species of shark are deathly afraid of people, some are curious...white sharks are not afraid and their curiosity is based upon millions of years of evolution that tells them "this might be food." If this happens to you, get out of the water immediately.We should also note that Andy felt the shark was a bit smaller than some thought adding that it appeared smaller than a dolphin.
Well the good news is that all ended well here and the shark soon left the area. The surfers were able to get back in the water and continue enjoying what obviously was a beautiful day in Esperance.
Thanks again to Frits deBruyn for allowing us to share the photos.