WHEN Yeppoon's Rebecca Gallehawk heard about Australian surfer Mick Fanning's close encounter with a shark off the coast of South Africa yesterday, her mind flashed back to this image.
It was September 24 in 2011 when the local surfer went for a morning surf at Farnborough Beach to celebrate turning 18 when she got a birthday surprise that she didn't want.
Rebecca, now 21, said she had just finished eating a birthday breakfast when she decided to go in the water.
"I love surfing and I really wanted to surf on my birthday so I went for a surf and my friend was taking photos on the beach," she said.
"I've never been very concerned about sharks where I surf but it's always in the back of your mind I suppose. After catching a few waves I started to feel sick so I got out and sat on the beach.
"It wasn't until I looked at my camera about two months later I saw this photo and zoomed in to the black spot behind me. I couldn't believe what I saw; to think I was only metres away from a shark was pretty scary.
"I showed the photo to two local surfers who said it looked like it could have been a tiger shark about 2m to 3m in length. I have a series of photos where the shark gets closer to me as I get out of the water and the fin becomes clearer and bigger."
Surfers around the world were shocked yesterday when video footage of Mick Fanning being attacked by a shark at J-Bay during a surfing competition surfaced.
The dramatic footage shows Mick sitting on his board in the water when suddenly a fin, believed to belong to a great white shark, appears.
Luckily the professional surfer made his way to the shore unharmed thanks to the quick help of the rescue boat.
Yeppoon surfer and owner of Capricorn Coast Learn 2 Surf school Pat Eastwood said he was glad to see Mick made it out alive.
"The video is very full on, I'm sure he got a fair scare and it's just lucky the rescue boat acted quickly," he said.
"I've met Mick before, he's such a nice bloke and I'm so glad he's okay. In those types of place in the world, great white sharks are a common occurrence but luckily for us here on the Cap Coast the sharks are a lot smaller and uncommon in our waters.
"I'll never forget the time last Christmas in Tasmania when I saw the fin of a great white shark right near my board. You just have this sudden instinct to start paddling, which I did, but I wasn't happy about it because the waves were so good."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.