LOCAL lad Eden Hasson made a big splash last week after a close encounter with a great white shark world media headlines.
Eden, 10, from Salamander Bay, was surfing at Samurai Beach in Port Stephens with his sister Olivia and brother Archie.
It was the last surf of the day and Eden’s father, Chris Hasson, was taking photos from the rocks.
In Eden’s words, “I caught a very good left hander, I dropped down the wave and as I went up for a re-entry I saw a dark shadow. I wasn’t sure what it was so I forgot about it.”
Meanwhile, Eden’s dad had spotted the dark shape lurking beneath the surface in one of the photos.
He had a quick look at the photo and realised it looked like a shark.
Chris shouted to his son, telling him to get back to the shore.
He said he was shocked but didn’t want to scare his son, in case he came off the board.
The shark was about 50 metres out and estimated to be a juvenile of about 2.5 metres.
Various shark experts have looked at the photograph and agree it is almost certainly a Great White Shark, including Peter McCabe, a well respected Newcastle surfer.
Mr Hasson said that there had been a large group of stingrays in the ocean, which the younger sharks find a real delicacy.
He told News Of The Area, “I’m surprised it went international. It’s a positive story about an amazing photo.”
The Hassons, who are keen surfers, have not let it put them off surfing.
Eden went straight back in the water the next day.
Chris likened it to driving your car: “You put your seatbelt on and you don’t worry about having an accident.”
“Everyone high-fived me and started calling me Shark Boy,” Eden Hasson said.
By Sarah STOKES