Cape Cod Kayaker 'Paddled Like No Tomorrow'
'Turned into a professional' when he saw great white shark
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 8:17 AM CDT
This photo of Szulc being followed by the shark has spread around the world.   (AP Photo/Shelly Negrotti)

(Newser) – Walter Szulc Jr. was kayaking for the first time when he was tailed by a great white shark but he says he started paddling like a pro when he spotted it. "To actually see it, to see the fin come out of the water behind me, it was a moment, almost like I was watching it happen to me," he tells the Boston Globe. "It all happened so quick, and I knew I had to react. I had a deep swallow, that 'oh, my God' moment,” he said. "Then I just paddled." The shark turned away just as Szulc reached the wave break where he had flipped over at least twice that day.

"All I could sense is that I should paddle, that I should put my part in here. I just knew that I didn’t want to end up in the water," says Szulc, who was alerted to the 14-foot shark by a paddleboarder gesturing frantically at the water behind him. "Paddling-wise, I turned into a professional kayaker all of a sudden" he says. "I paddled like there was no tomorrow, like my life depended on it, and it’s quite possible that was the case." But humans are much more dangerous to sharks than vice versa, notes the Christian Science Monitor, with one expert putting the ratio at 14 million dead sharks for every human killed.