A local family have experienced an up-close encounter with a great white shark when the animal approached their boat just 16 miles off the coast of Bundaberg.
Coral Cove resident Cuneyt John Uraz said he was fishing with his 13-year-old son and brother when they spotted a large fin coming towards them.
“We first saw the fin and thought it was a dolphin,” he said.
“Then, it kept on circling the boat, would go away about 30 metres and then turn around and come back.
“This went for a good 20 minutes.”
It was upon this closer inspection that the group realised the animal could well be a white pointer, and a big one at that.
“My boat is six metres and this shark had to be five metres but with a very wide, big body,” Cuneyt said.
“I have never seen or had a shark circle me before.”
Cuneyt said while the encounter happened in August, it wasn't until Friday that he decided to post the video to a Facebook group to see if his suspicions about the shark could be verified.
“I posted on a boat page to show people the video and secondly to see if I was correct in identifying it as a great white,” he said.
“I have since found out that people have seen them around and as far up as Rockhampton, especially in whale season and that they are more common than we think.”
According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, great white sharks inhabit coastal, shelf and continental slope waters around Australia from the Montebello Islands in Western Australia to central Queensland.
They also move between eastern Australia and south Pacific waters and between South Africa and Western Australia.
CSIRO research reveals that there are about 750 adults in the eastern Australasian white shark population (with a range from 470 to 1030), with a total eastern population of 5460 (with a potential range between 2909 and 12,802).
Cuneyt said the shark encounter was still something he often thought about admitted the experience was exhilarating and frightening at the same time.
“I was very excited at first but after 10 minutes when it kept coming closer to the boat and kept on circling, I started to get worried for my son's safety,” he said.
“But the adrenaline was through the roof, I’m still kicking myself for forgetting my waterproof Go Pro that day!”