Pro surfer Matt Wilkinson has magically avoided a stalking shark at a northern NSW beach on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old admitted the incident at Ballina, filmed by a Surf Life Saving NSW drone, had left him shaken.
"I was surfing out the back at Sharpes Beach and just cruising on my own and I heard a splash and a noise and looked around and couldn't see anything," Wilkinson said.
"Then the drone came down and told me that there was a dangerous shark in the area, return to the beach.
"I got to the shore feeling a bit weird and the lifeguards showed me the footage and I realised how close it came without knowing it was there. It looks like it's going for my leg and it's changed its mind."
It wasn't the first near miss for Wilkinson. He competed in the heat just before fellow Aussie Mick Fanning dealt with a large white shark at J-Bay in South Africa in 2015.
"I feel grateful and pretty weird at the same time but happy it decided not to go me. When I saw the footage I saw the similarities, like I had a yellow leg rope on and Mick's board was yellow is what I was thinking about when I came in.
"I called my wife because I didn't want her to see the footage before I saw it. She doesn't want me surfing for a couple of days now."
The beach was evacuated and closed until Thursday when the situation will be reviewed.