A fun day at the beach turned into a very scary experience for one Florida father and his family recently. Dan Watson visits New Smyrna Beach with his wife and three children at least twice a month, but during his trip on June 23, he noticed something in the water he hadn't seen before.
Watson, who is a professional photographer, told Newsweek that he was flying his drone, capturing images of his family playing in the water, when he noticed a dark shadow swimming nearby. Fearing that what he was seeing was a shark, he yelled to his wife Sally and their three children to get out of the water.
"When I first spotted the shadow on my screen, panic immediately set in when I first spotted the shark. I shouted to my wife and told her there was a shark in the water get the kids out!" he told Newsweek. "After the kids were out of the water I began to second guess myself and started thinking, it was probably nothing. It wasn't until I was able to view the actual images the drone had captured before I realized it was for sure a shark and how close it had come."
Watson posted those images on his Instagram page, showing just how close the shark had come to his family in the water.
"See that dark shadow making its way straight for the shore & those people?" he captioned the pictures. "That was my view this weekend while flying my Mavic 2 Pro… and oh, 3 of those people are my kids!"
"Definitely too close of an encounter for my liking!" he wrote.
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See that dark shadow making its way straight for the shore & those people? That was my view this weekend while flying my Mavic 2 Pro… and oh, 3 of those people are my kids! Swipe to see the next image that resulted from my yelling to get out of the water and the unmistakable outline of a shark. Definitely too close of an encounter for my liking! Link in my profile to check out more info & footage from the drone!!! Thinking my @djiglobal drone is now coming with me to every beach day!!! #dji #mavic2pro #polarpro @polarpro
Sally Watson told Fox 35 that she initially didn't know why her husband was yelling to get out of the water. "I was at the edge of the water and the kids were standing in the water, and I was screaming, ‘Get out, get out, get out!’" she said. "I didn’t know why, and so he immediately brings the drone to me, and shows me the frame in the drone. You see that shark swimming right at our kids. It was terrifying."
She said she felt that her husband was meant to have his drone with him that day.
"It was a God moment because he was just going to fly the drone for fun, and it was just for a fun picture. But to see that my children were in knee-deep water and you see this big shark approaching them, it’s humbling to know that, and I’m thankful he put that drone up at that moment," she added.
While Watson tells the TODAY Show that his children, Grace, 9, Jonathan, 6, and Landon, 5, were shocked to see how close they were to a shark. "My daughter was pretty amazed and a little nervous,'' Watson said.
While the family will continue to visit the beach, Watson says they'll probably stay a little closer to the shore from now on.
"I think we're going to work on our sandcastle skills now,'' Watson said.