Ray Trautz was out with his cousin, Pete Emond, and they were surfing together on Coast Guard beach in Cape Cod, he said on Facebook.
What was meant to be an enjoyable surfing outing turned into a chaotic race to save their lives after an unwelcome guest joined their party.
Mr Trautz was standing on his board when looked over his shoulder and saw a shark swimming towards his seated cousin’s legs.
“The shark even turned on its side as if to take a leg; in that moment, I yelled SHAARRRRK as Pete was still unaware,” he wrote.
“As I yelled I stabbed my paddle into the water at the back of the shark, and it violently turned at me, tail and head thrashing back and forth erupting the water.”
The shark became aggressive and swung its tail inches from Mr Emond’s face.
Mr Trautz shouted at his cousin to get on shore as the shark circled him, becoming more “aggressive and agitated.”
The surfer circled the shark back, trying to maintain a distance, before a wave came and flung Mr Trautz back to the beach.
“We both escaped unharmed and a little shaken. I’ve seen a hundred white sharks while surfing, but this takes the top of all my shark interactions,” he said.
Mr Trautz, who is an experienced surfer, said that neither one of them managed to panic and reacted the best they could; however, he admits if he was not on a standup paddleboard that there could have been a different ending to the story.
Mr Trautz said in a follow-up post that while he will not comment further on the coverage his story has gotten, but he does say that, like many people who reside in Cape Cod, he surfs a great deal.
He said in his post he had surfed 257 times since 1 January and even gets up before dawn to get a surf in before work.
“We [residents] see sharks and are very familiar with the risks,” he said.
Even the most experienced surfers may not notice a stealthy shark coming up behind them, so it is vital to keep your wits about you and sign up for shark alerts on your phone.
Research from the University of Massachusetts believes that Cape Cod is “among the larger white shark hotspots worldwide,” Megan Winton, the lead author on the study, said, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC).
The researchers deciphered that around 800 great white sharks had lived in the area between 2015 and 2018.
The AWSC launched a “sharktivity” app for people to log their sightings of great white sharks around the Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts area, which could be handy for surfers or boaters before they set off on their activities.