March 26 (UPI) -- A Jet Ski rescuer at a popular California surfing spot evacuated the water after a caught-on-camera close encounter with a large great white shark.
Drake Stanley said he started his shift as a Jet Ski rescuer Sunday after a morning of surfing at Mavericks Beach, just outside of Half Moon Bay.
Stanley said his engine was off as he watched the surfers about 1:30 p.m. and spotted something huge in the water nearby.
"It looked like a whale," Stanley told KGO-TV.
He said the creature came within arm's reach of his Jet Ski and he realized it was a great white shark, which he estimated at 16 to 20 feet long. He said the shark's attention soon turned to a nearby surfer.
"It saw the surfer and just made a beeline for him... I thought, 'I'm going to watch a shark attack,'" he said.
Stanley said he was able to distract the shark by revving his engine and then gave the surfer a ride back to shore. He said he ended up towing the rest of the surfers back to shore when the shark remained in the area.
"I had like 8 people in," Stanley said. "I basically evacuated Mavericks!"
Stanley said he was relieved that no one was injured during the close encounter.
"This was by far the biggest and scariest creature I've ever seen in the ocean," he said.