Caught on camera: Cape Cod surfer has close encounter with shark

BARNSTABLE COUNTY, Mass. (WCVB/CNN) - A surfer got a little too close for comfort with a great white shark Friday in the waters of Cape Cod. The frightening moment was captured by a photographer.

“It was pure shock, and you see literally the moment when I recognize what it is and my only response is to lift my feet out of the water and drop my jaw,” said Devon Zimmerman, describing the moment he saw the shark.

"I’d only been out in the water a total of two minutes. I thought this little seal was popping up. I turn around and it was actually the head of the shark, and then I saw it’s dorsal fin and utterly froze,” he said.

Back on the sand, the man who captured the image, Joe Mault, shouted a warning, held his breath and kept shooting.

“It was definitely tense. It felt tense, and he very calmly turned around and paddled back in,” said Mault.

“I thought I don't want to splash too much to bring too much attention to myself, but I also need to go very fast,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said his heart hasn’t stopped pounding.

“I don't think I've actually sort of found myself calm and collected yet,” he said.

Zimmerman, who lives in Brooklyn grew up on the West Coast and has surfed his whole life. This was his first encounter with a great white. His wife hopes it's his last.

“[The photo] made me nauseous, really. It made me sick to my stomach when I saw it,” said Zimmerman’s wife Sarah McAteer.

The couple was headed to Maine for a wedding Saturday and were feeling lucky.

“Before we kind of cross over the Massachusetts border we’re definitely buying some lotto tickets, Powerball picks. If anyone needs them, give me a call,” Zimmerman joked.

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