A father who was using his drone to take aerial photos potentially saved five children from tragedy after he spotted a shark swimming near them at a Florida beach last week. Daniel Watson and his family were at New Smyrna Beach with friends on June 23 when he discovered they’d been joined by some unwanted company in the water.
A few hours after they arrived at the beach, Watson, a professional photographer, decided to snap some overheard pictures with his DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone. He says he hadn’t originally planned on bringing the drone to the beach.
“This was just a family outing,” he told CBS News on Tuesday. “There was no reason to bring a drone.”
Thirty seconds after his drone took off, he described noticing what looked liked a “shadow” lurking near his and friends’ children in the water — five kids between the ages of 5 and 9. While not completely sure it was a shark, he didn’t want to take any chances. He alerted his wife, who started yelling at them to leave the water immediately.
It wasn’t until Watson arrived home later that night and saw the photos in high definition that a feeling of “dread” sunk in, as he realized it really was a shark.
“We are able to see its progression toward the kids,” he said. “We see it turn around.”
The first photo shows the shark swimming in the direction of the children playing in the water. The second image shows the kids rushing back toward the beach and the shark swimming away.
When asked how his family was after the incident, Watson said his two young boys were more interested in shark photos, but his 9-year-old daughter was “scared” and “nervous.”
The family was even more concerned after finding out a teen surfer was bitten by a shark at New Smyrna Beach on Sunday. According to the Orlando Sentinel, an 18-year-old was bitten at the very same beach they went to a week prior.
For now, Watson and his family plan to stay on the sand next time they go to the beach.
“We will definitely be away from the water,” he said.”We’re going to be working on our sandcastle skills from now on.”
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