Shark Follows Woman on Paddle Board Closely in Florida Waters

Written by Sammi Caramela
Updated: September 6, 2023
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Many people have an immense fear of sharks. Though rare, shark attacks are not something anyone would want to encounter. Whenever you go into the ocean, you might have a fleeting thought of a shark making you his lunch. That’s likely what went through the mind of the woman who was recently followed by a shark on her paddle board off the coast of Florida.

The viral video at the end of this article shows a woman standing on her paddleboard, quickly trying to get back to the safety of her and her team’s boat as a shark follows right on her heels. In the video, you can see the shark’s fin right behind her paddleboard. One of the people in the video instructed the paddleboarder to continue moving forward. The woman remained calm enough to escape the seemingly threatening shark.

Once she made it back to safety, however, the shark then moved toward yet another person on his board before finally swimming off. In the video, you can hear one of the individuals mention that the shark was — at one point — underneath her board. In fact, in an interview after the incident, she mentioned she felt the shark tap her board multiple times.

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Why Would a Shark Follow Someone?

Typically, sharks will investigate a scene when they’re curious. Sometimes, this can cause humans to panic, further instigating a shark or leading to an unanticipated attack. Keep in mind that the ocean is a shark’s home. Anyone “visiting” might cause the large fish to examine the situation. 

While sharks aren’t known to seek out an attack on a human, they are inquisitive creatures, which might explain why this one followed the paddleboarder in the water. Thankfully, everyone escaped safely — at least physically.

Great White Shark attack swimmer

Rare as they are, unprovoked shark attacks do occur, and it’s not always clear why.

©Willyam Bradberry/

Are Sharks Aggressive to Humans?

Sharks are not usually aggressive to humans, and shark attacks are rare. Additionally, humans are not part of their diet: they typically eat small fish and invertebrates. However, sometimes, they can mistake humans as competitors when hunting food, causing them to attack.

Still, these aquatic animals do not actively hunt humans. When a shark attacks someone, it’s typically because they were confused or felt threatened. In fact, sharks actually fear humans — usually more than we fear them.

Watch the Shark Follow the Florida Paddleboarder

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Willyam Bradberry/

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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