In 2015, two paddleboards were lucky enough to have a close encounter with a group of juvenile great white sharks. For most, this would have been a terrifying experience, but for Joseph Truckles and Courtney Hemerick, this was obviously exhilarating.

The young fish were roughly 2 metres and were most likely seeking refuge in the protected bays around southern California. In the film, the pair can be seen paddling with the sharks and dropping their cameras into the water for close shots. The sharks look calm as they swim close to the paddleboards, even appearing to follow them.

Though great whites have a fearsome reputation, the number of shark attacks on humans is small. A recent study estimates that humans kill 100 million sharks every year, while there are just a handful of human fatalities from sharks.

Some have criticized the pair for staying with the sharks when they should have returned to shore. Though the sharks were curious about the paddleboards, they were unlikely to have posed a danger to the pair.

For those interesting in working with great whites, The Great Projects run a shark conservation program in Cape Town, South Africa.

Proudly sponsored by The Great Projects.