US father's chilling drone footage shows shark right next to kids

US father's chilling drone footage shows shark right next to kids
Photo credit: Dan Watson/@learningcameras

A father in the US, who was taking drone footage of his children swimming at the beach, faced every parent's worst nightmare when he spotted a shark next to them. 

Professional photographer Dan Watson was enjoying a day at Florida's New Smyrna Beach with his family when he decided to take some photos using his drone. 

However, within 30 seconds of getting the drone in the air, Watson spotted the shark moving through the water. 

"I first spotted the shadow on my screen [and] panic immediately set in, " he told Newshub. "I shouted to my wife and told her there was a shark in the water [and to] get the kids out."

He said was worried about his youngest son escaping the attack. 

"Considering my five-year-old was in the water, it took on a whole new meaning. It would not take much to severely injure him or at least traumatize him for sure," he said

Watson said he was relieved at how well his children reacted to the warning.

"Thankfully they sensed the urgency and immediately started running out of the water."

"There is always that worry as a parent on how your young child will respond in the moment and they did respond perfectly."

After his children were safely onshore, he started second guessing whether he really saw a shark.

"I started thinking it was probably nothing. It wasn't until I was able to view the images the drone had captured that I realized it was for sure a shark and how close it had come."

Watson said both while both his sons were scared after the incident, they have started to develop an interest in sharks as a result. His daughter, however, is still scared. 

The type of shark is still unknown, but there have been several suggestions, he said. 

"There are quite a few different types in the area since they often pass the beach during migration."

Watson said his family is pretty wary about getting back in the ocean. 

"We might be back to the beach but will probably be very cautious about going in the water for a little while." 

New Zealand shark researcher and underwater cinematographer, Kina Scollay, said sharks are around us in the water more than we think and most of the time we won't know they are there. 

"Sharks are actually extremely common at many beaches all over the world, and certainly extremely common in summer at a lot of beaches in the north of New Zealand," he said. 

"Places where there are a lot of people in the water and nice warm water there is liable to be sharks cruising past all the time. Sharks are curious and they will come and check people out and obviously, it will happen all the time and we don't even know." 

Scollay said, in general, these types of situations aren't dangerous at all. 

However, he said sharks are far from harmless and it is sensible to be cautious of them. 

"Sharks are predators, it is intelligent to be careful of them and it's intelligent to be aware of them."

He said the best thing to do if you notice a shark near you is to calmly get out of the water. 

"You should get your children out of the water in a calm sort of way and feel lucky that you had that experience, that's pretty cool."

From looking at the pictures, Scollay said it didn't look like the shark was going to attack the children. 

"That shark was aware of those kids, it's in the water checking them out, it wasn't that close, it cruised in and it cruised out."


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