Surfer swims with the sharks -- and brings back a video

Most people are content to watch Discovery Channel's Shark Week from the comfort of their couch and then, perhaps, discuss the series with their friends.

Chuck Patterson, on the other hand, watched Shark Week and decided to go film some Great Whites on his own.

Patterson, an extreme sports athlete, took the footage about 150 feet off the coast of San Onofre Beach in Southern California. He had attached a camera to a 10-foot pole and was riding on his standing paddle surfboard. The surfer shrugged the incident off nonchalantly. "I did have that fear that if I fell in, you never know," but he said, "being on the standup paddle board, you're at a different vantage point. You're not in the water."

Surfboards, mind you, are generally made from foam. That does not sound like much protection from the jaws of a Great White shark.

Patterson said the hype about sharks being so dangerous is "funny" to him. He and his friends often sees the sharks off the coast of California on their migration routes. "I've been on the water forever. None of us have ever gotten attacked."

Despite how much he loved the experience, Patterson does not recommend swimming with the sharks for everyone. He said, "We're kind of a visitor in the ocean. It's their home. We have to give them respect."

August 12, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
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Was that actually a Great White? It looks more like a bull shark to me - which are actually much more likely to bite.

Posted by: SubRosa2 | August 13, 2010 11:22 AM

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