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Drone video shows shark nudge surfer's board in Australia

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A drone operator at an Australian beach captured video of the moment a large shark swam up to a surfer and nudged the man's board.

Beau Monks was operating a Surf Life Saving New South Wales drone at Sharpes Beach, near Ballina, when he spotted a shark swimming up to professional surfer Matt Wilkinson.

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The video shows the shark nudging Wilkinson's board.

Monks used the drone's speaker to warn beach-goers to get out of the water and the shark fled the area moments later.

"It sort of came out of nowhere, then went right up to Matt. It moved pretty fast. I was tracking it and notified the lifeguards and used the speaker on the drone to get everyone out of the water," Monks said.

"Within 10 seconds it was at the surfer, and 5 seconds later it was gone."

Monks said the drone might have scared the shark away.

"I'm not entirely sure why the shark decided to turn away at the last minute. It could have been something as simple as just bumping into his leg rope, or it might have been the drone," Monks told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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"Marine creatures have been known to dart away when the drone does come over."

Wilkinson said he didn't realize the shark had gotten so close to him until he returned to shore and reviewed the footage.

"We get to see sharks a little bit out in the surf but that was definitely my closest encounter, and I hope it doesn't get any closer than that," he said.

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