San Onofre State Beach near San Clemente is a known breeding ground for great white sharks, but only rarely are they captured on camera.
Even rarer: images of a great white breaching in California.
Veteran surf photographer Jordan Anast managed to be in the right place at the right time this past Saturday while snapping photos of a surfer riding the waves during the San Onofre Surf Club’s annual contest.
“Over the decades I have captured some memorable moments for others, but this is one was for me,” Anast posted on Instagram.
The series of photos shows a great white rocketing out of the water, then splashing down, with the unsuspecting surfer at a safe distance in the foreground.
Anast said the moment reminded him of “Sharknado” – a reference to the sci-fi comedy horror films.
“My passion has always been to stop time for 1 second, capture a memory for someone or something that will last forever and show the world my pics through my lens. These shots will always be a part of San Onofre history and that is pretty cool,” Anast said.
This was not the first documented shark breach during a surf contest in the area.
According to the Orange County Register, a shark jumped out of the water during the USA Surf Contest at Lower Trestles, just north of San Onofre beach, in 2019.