The jumping shark: great white pictured completely out of the water

Nathan McLaren, an electrician, captured the moment a 3.3m long shark breached out of the water behind a surfer on the east coast of Australia

A once-in-a-lifetime photograph has caught the moment a great white shark breached its entire body out of the water behind an oblivious surfer.

The photograph was taken by Nathan McLaren on Tuesday as he watched surfers off Swansea Heads, just south of Newcastle in New South Wales.

McLaren, 33, was on the beach watching surfer Daniel Caban, aged 20, surfing about 50 metres out when the 3.3 metre-long (11ft) predator burst out of the water.

McLaren, an electrician, said: I was just out on the beach taking a picture of a couple of the local guys out surfing and just had the perfect coincidence of capturing the lovely photo.

When Daniel saw the photo his jaw pretty much hit the ground. He had been in the water for about an hour and Id say that shark was feeding around there the whole time.

It goes to show the shark wasnt out there to kill him, but it was definitely feeding out there.

The way the bay operates you have a wave that comes in from the right and the left and it pushes a lot of water out through the middle, you get a huge rip which pushes out all the food I suppose.

The bay fish start feeding and then obviously the big fellas come in.

McLaren believed the shark might have made an appearance about 30 minutes before he took the picture but it was too quick to see.

He said: About half an hour before the photo was taken we thought we had seen something, but obviously it was so quick no one was really too sure.

The guys had been paddling across the bay to each break and they had come over to that break and were surfing for about 15 minutes and then suddenly there was this shark breaching.

As soon as we saw it a couple of guys started running down and we were tooting the horn in the car and I starting waving my shirt in the air.

McLaren said that although people might be worried about sharks he was not in favour of a cull of the type seen in Western Australia in the wake of two fatal shark attacks in the past two weeks.

He said: If you see a snake when youre camping youre still going to go camping if you enjoy it … I highly believe its their domain out there. Obviously whats happened in Western Australia is a tragedy but I dont believe culling is the answer.

I think we have the technology to keep them away if you are worried about it.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/08/the-jumping-shark-great-white-pictured-completely-out-of-the-water