Hawaiian Fisherman Leo Pagaduan has seen his share of tiger sharks, but never before has he come this close to a great white.
On March 11, Pagaduan was fishing off the coast of Ukumehame Beach Park in West Maui, Hawaii, when suddenly a great white shark appeared behind him and proceeded to circle his kayak for over an hour.
"When I look behind me, nothing there. When I look on my right side again, right there, it's coming," said Pagaduan, who told Hawaii News Now that the shark was nearly as large as his 12-foot watercraft.
"Sometimes even you thinking she [was] not there anymore, then suddenly she show up, not even five minutes and she show up again," he added.
Pagaduan also captured the entire ordeal on his waterproof GoPro camera, and shared the footage on his YouTube channel shortly afterward.
The great white can first be spotted about a minute into the footage, just feet from Pagaduan’s kayak:
Pagaduan said he wasn’t sure if the initial splashing he heard was the shark trying to bite the back of his kayak, but he claims that the great white didn’t try to attack over the next hour. Even still, he chose to remain on the open water — rather than paddle back to the beach — for fear of drawing the shark closer to the surfers near the shore.
A Honolulu zoologist who spoke with Hawaii New Now agreed that Pagaduan probably made a good decision, although he doesn’t think Pagaduan’s kayak was ever really in danger of being attacked by the great white.
“It didn't look like a particularly large white shark, so I don't think the shark would've tried to take over the boat or anything like that," said Bishop Museum zoologist Richard Pyle.
Pagaduan eventually returned to the shore with a single fish — it was the only thing he could catch before encountering the shark — but at least he was able to reel in the story of a lifetime.
What’s more, the avid fisherman has no plans to cut back on his time out at sea in the wake of his close call.
"Yeah, I keep fishing," he told Hawaii News Now. "I love fishing."