Great white shark jumps out of water and frightens photographer, great whites, south africa, shark divingRex

A photographer got more than he bargained for when he was on a diving trip in South Africa and a 16-foot long great white shark jumped out of the water and was just inches from his camera lens.

British snapper David Caravias was shocked when the shark suddenly burst out of the water after his brave attempt to recreate an image from shark film Jaws.

Part of a shark diving team aboard a 30ft-long boat, David had been 'playing' with the shark by dangling a chunk of tuna over the edge of the boat.

The shark momentarily went out of sight before leaping out of the sea and nearly taking David with him on his descent back into the water.

Great white shark jumps out of water and frightens photographerRex

David, 42, told Rex Features: 'It came out of nowhere at real pace and completely caught us off guard.

'The shark must have come only an inch from us and I was convinced we were goners.

'This was a complete freak incident but it definitely puts you in your place, it shows you cannot get complacent with the sharks.

'Nevertheless, I love to photograph great whites; you just have to work out their behaviour and movements.'

There were up to five great whites up to 16 feet long circling the boat at any one time.

Great white shark jumps out of water and frightens photographerRex

The boat had a specially designed cage attached to allow divers to get a closer look at the predators.

David said that although they look menacing, he believes they are actually 'quite playful'.

His stunning pictures were taken off the coast of South Africa at Gansbaai, near Cape Town.

The photographer, who moved to South Africa from Wokingham, Berkshire to pursue a dream career in shark diving, added: 'It is very exciting taking photos of sharks, especially great whites.

Great white shark jumps out of water and frightens photographerRex

'They all have different personalities - some are relaxed and slow and others are feisty and very playful.

'But never have the sharks 'gone for' divers in the cage or tried to hurt people on the trip.

'They are extremely intelligent creatures and very selective on what they prey on and hunt.'

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