A paddleboarder said he found himself in the water with some toothy companions when he took to the waves in Orange County, Southern California, Friday.
During a morning visit to Surfside Beach, Courtney Hemerick said he spotted at least three juvenile great white sharks swimming just past the surf line. Rather than steer clear of the creatures, the Aliso Viejo resident decided to grab his GoPro and capture the encounter.
Filmed from atop his stand-up paddleboard, Hemerick's footage shows a young shark, which he estimates to have been 5 or 6 feet long, swimming just inches from him and friend Joey Trucksess.
Though Hemerick visited the beach specifically to catch a glimpse of the sharks, he said that finding himself paddling alongside the sometimes-fearsome creatures took a little getting used to.
"The great whites are probably my biggest fear," Hemerick told NBC Los Angeles. "But they’re incredibly docile animals, and after a few minutes in the water I was completely at ease."
See Hemerick's extended footage here.