Viral shark video surfer: 'So close I could have touched it'

FROM what started out as an everyday surf turned into a terrifying face-to-face encounter with one of the ocean's biggest predators for one local surfer this week.

Fajri Fajri made national headlines this week by featuring in a viral Youtube video, which showed him catching a wave directly above a juvenile white shark at The Pass, Byron Bay.

It was only when Mr Fajri jumped up on his board to catch the wave, the shark came into view.

"When I came around and caught the wave, he was right underneath me," Mr Fajri said.

"I looked at him and he looked at me and his head sort of leaned at me ... I just s**t myself.

"If I put my arm all the way down (into the wave) I could have touched it, it was so close."

MORE: 'He jumped straight back in the surf the next day'

Mr Fajri then shouted out to warn other surfers as he furiously paddled to shore.

"I called out 'shark, shark, shark'. Some people went in straight away and some people just ignored it."

Soon after the incident, Mr Fajri told a friend of the encounter but didn't believe how close Mr Fajri came to the shark until he saw the video online.

"I told my mate at work straight away and he was like 'oh yeah' until he saw it on the video he was like 'no way, I don't believe it'."

Mr Fajri said he's seen sharks from a distance in the surf a few times but this is the closest he's ever been to a shark.

A regular surfer at The Pass, Mr Fajri wanted to overcome his shark fears and went back in the water the next day.

"It's sort of just like going around and around (in the) back in my head the next day," he said.

He said his paranoia in the water was calmed by talking to mates in the surf.

Watching the video brought back the scary memories for Mr Fajri and emphasised the large size of the shark.

He said a lot of people recognised Mr Fajri in the video by his style of surfing.

In his native Lombok Indonesia, he said they don't have big sharks like those sighted here on the Northern Rivers.

He suggested some form of barrier to ensure "everyone can enjoy the ocean" by keeping both marine life and people safe.

"I want to say everyone ... who loves surfing just to look out for each other out there in the water."

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