San Diego Shark Encounter

By Tony Shin
|  Thursday, Aug 12, 2010  |  Updated 10:44 AM PDT
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Using a waterproof camera, a local man hopped on his standup paddle board and shot video of sharks off San Onofre State Beach. Chuck Patterson described them as great white sharks.

Using a waterproof camera, a local man hopped on his standup paddle board and shot video of sharks off San Onofre State Beach. Chuck Patterson described them as great white sharks.

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It sits in the back of just about everyones mind when they're playing in the surf or swimming in the ocean.  What if a Great White shark was swimming here too?

Video shot by Chuck Patterson off San Onofre State Beach on Tuesday may confirm all of those fears.  Yes, sharks are out there and in some cases, they are big.

In Patterson's case, at least nine feet big.  His quest to videotape a Great White began Monday  when he saw a couple of sharks while paddle boarding in the ocean.

The next day he grabbed a waterproof video camera and paddled off the North County coast.

"Just have a little fun, go for a paddle and see these great animals and I got lucky," Patterson said.

Lucky, he didn't get attacked because a shark swam right around him at least two times, and Patterson recorded it.

"It's emotional in a way because you see these animals out there,"Patterson said.  "It's great to see because we're all fearful of sharks but at the same time they are part of the ecosystem and it's great they're coming back."

Patterson said a juvenile Great White about seven feet long also circled his board for about 12 minutes before swimming away. 

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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