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When it comes to sharks, perhaps the thing that strikes the most fear in the hearts of ocean enthusiasts – more than their razor-sharp jaws, ferocity, and size – is the element of surprise. That is, for most if not every shark attack (fatal or otherwise), the victim never saw the animal coming. Call it fear of the unknown. Fear of what lurks below.

As it happens, sharks are wildly misunderstood creatures and when we enter the ocean, we enter into their domain. For all the attacks that make headlines, there are likely countless other close encounters that occur with no incident – maybe we float and splash on the surface blissfully unaware of an apex predator below the surface. At least that was the case with a pair of foilers off Capistrano Beach in Orange County on Wednesday.

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The pair towed each other around on a hydrofoil while local videographer Matt Larmand filmed from above with a drone. What the bird saw from the sky that the foilers couldn’t see from the water was a seven-to-eight-foot white shark tooling around the lineup – likely enjoying the tepid SoCal waters.

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“Here’s (sic) a few clips from earlier this afternoon,” wrote Larmand in the caption of a video posted to Instagram. “The people in the water had no idea this guy was cruising around! Later on, I was able to locate another 2 whites, bringing the total for the day to 3, all within about a 1/4 mile of each other.”

“Taken about an hour ago, this guys (sic) had no idea that they had some company out there this evening!” continued Larmand in a later post. “Anyone wanna join them? After about an hour one of them finally sees it, but not until it’s about a foot away!”

Neither shark nor foiler were harmed, but the incident is a reminder that sharks have been spotted in Southern California lineups of late and to be on the lookout.

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