It is a terrifying moment to realize that a group of sharks is swimming around you, yet, it was a true life experience to one Florida surfer who managed a narrow escape.

The surfer, Eli McDonald met his once-in-a-lifetime encounter when he decided to ride the waves in Brevard County, Florida.

It was not until he was paddling in deep water at Sebastian Inlet that he realized something was not right when he found himself in the middle of a pack of fish.

“They were jumping everywhere,” he told Fox35. “One of them hit me in the head, and I saw a big tarpon go underneath my board, and I didn’t even realize there was a shark behind me.”

McDonald saw the disturbance came from a pack of ravenous sharks surrounding him.

Eli McDonald, Brevard County, Oct. 10, 2021 (Screenshot via TheBL/Fox35orlando)

His fiance, Laura Evans, who had accompanied him to the beach was standing on the sand and she witnessed everything. 

“I wanted to go scream and run up and down the beach, but you know, I knew that he would know what to do in that situation, and I also knew that he would want me to capture whatever I could,” she said.

As terrified as she was, Evans also felt that McDonald could manage himself among the sharks knowing he was an experienced surfer.

She also wanted to capture the heart-stopping moment for McDonald.
“But I knew that he would know what to do in that situation, and I also knew he wanted me to capture whatever I could,” Evans said.

Eli McDonald, Brevard County, Oct. 10, 2021 (Screenshot via TheBL/Fox35orlando)
 

To their relief, McDonald indeed escaped the sharks’ attention unscathed.

Would the encounter suffice to have McDonald forgo his surfing hobby? No. According to Fox35, he resumed his favorite sport as soon as the following day.

“We always know they’re there, right?” McDonald said, as reported by WSVN.”I think it’s part of your passion of being in the ocean and surfing, being aware of your surroundings.”

Not everyone has the same idea about meeting sharks when they surf, as one viewer shared with Dailystar: “I hated paddling through a school of baitfish. You just don’t know where the sharks will come all of a sudden.” 

Some experienced surfers believed McDonald might have been rounded up by spinner sharks, which are prevalent in the Atlantic Ocean. Lucky they weren’t great whites, or there would be no story for McDonald to tell.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

  • SMS / PHONE

    By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.