Unsplash | Gerald Schömbs

Dad Flying Drone Over Beach Spots Shark Swimming Towards His Kids

A Florida dad got the scare of a lifetime while flying his drone during a beach day with his family after he unwittingly snapped a few aerial shots of a shark lurking in the water near his children, Buzzfeed News reported.

Photographer Dan Watson was able to catch the predator approaching his children just in time while watching the footage live on his phone screen.

After a long day at New Smyrna beach, Dan's family was preparing to head home again.

Instagram | @learningcameras

He had been sunning with his wife, Sally, and their three young kids: Landon, 5, Jonathan, 6, and Grace, 9.

At the last minute, the 35-year-old photographer decided he wanted to take just a few more aerial snaps with his drone.

Unsplash | Xan Griffin

He planned to post the beach photos to his Instagram page, @learningcameras. So, while his kids and wife returned to the knee-deep water to splash around, Dan stood on the beach and controlled the flying drone with his phone.

"Within 30 seconds of getting the drone up in the air...I started seeing the shadow moving through the water."

Unsplash | Jared Brashier

To Dan's horror, his phone screen was showing something lurking far too close to his family.

As he watched the shadowy figure cut through the water, he realized what he was seeing and, more importantly, that it was moving closer and closer to his swimming family.

He immediately began yelling "Shark!" to his family in an effort to alert them of the danger they couldn't see.

Unsplash | Laura College

"I'm screaming at my wife, who is a little bit closer to the kids, and we're running out to get them and yelling at them to get in," Dan explained.

In that moment, the fear he felt was incredibly real, particularly since he had seen just how frighteningly close the shark was.

Unsplash | David Clode

"I was worried that they wouldn't get out in time," Dan said. "It looked very close on the drone camera, from what I was seeing, and it was moving fairly quickly."

In the middle of all the chaos, he manged to snap two pictures of the too-close-for-comfort encounter, which he posted to his Instagram.

Instagram | @learningcameras

In the first picture, the shark can be seen facing the children and the beach's shore, seemingly poised to continue approaching that direction.

"See that dark shadow making its way straight for the shore & those people?" Dan wrote in the caption. "That was my view this weekend while flying my Mavic 2 Pro... and oh, 3 of those people are my kids!"

The next photo, Dan wrote, "resulted from my yelling to get out of the water and the unmistakable outline of a shark."

Instagram | @learingcameras

In this photo, you can see the obvious movement and panic as the children inside the water hurry to get to safety while Dan continues shouting from the beach.

"It's kids — you never quite know if they're going to instantly respond," Dan said. "Thankfully they did get that terrified response and started running very, very quickly."

The incident has left his youngest two children curious about sharks and eager to study up on them.

Unsplash | shailendra Pratap Singh

His daughter, however, is still pretty shaken and is now nervous about returning to the water. Dan's wife, Sally, is especially apprehensive about letting their children go swimming there again.

"I know there are sharks in the area," Dan said. "I do not think — or did not think — they are in shallowish waters ... where people would generally be."

Dan said there was no fin visible out of the water for his own family to have spotted the shark before he did.

Unsplash | Gerald Schömbs

"There would have been no way to have known or seen about this from any way, except that I happened to fly the drone at that moment in time," Dan said.

In his Instagram post, he added that he'll be taking his drone with him on every beach trip from now on.

Just one week after the Watson family's close encounter, a shark attacked a surfer at the same beach.

Unsplash | Teddy Kelley

An 18-year-old surfer was paddling in the water at New Smyrna when he was bitten in the foot.

He suffered minor puncture wounds and was treating at the scene. Judging from the size of the bite, experts estimate the shark was likely under 4-feet long.

h/t: Buzzfeed News

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