Derek Wragge and his friends planned to spend a long day at the beach at the southern tip of Bald Head Island.
But it was cut short when a man ran across the sand and urged people to get out of the water, Wragge, a clothing designer from Wilmington, told The News & Observer.
A shark had been spotted.
Moments later, Wragge captured a video of a shark thrashing through the water, moving “at lightning speed,” he said, “and changing direction often.”
“What was crazy to me is that it was only in knee-deep water,” he said. “I always felt safe going in that far. Not anymore.”
Wragge said there were plenty of people on the beach and in the water on Sept. 1, enjoying the summer day. But just after he and his friends exited the water, a man asked them if other swimmers were part of their group.
The man then started motioning people to get out of the water quickly.
“We were confused at first,” Wragge said. “He quickly informed us that a shark was spotted nearby.”
Wragge took out his phone, and “what you see (in the video) happened just a minute later. It was pretty wild to witness.”
Wragge posted the video of the shark to Facebook with the caption: “We were swimming here minutes before I recorded this at Bald Head. Pardon my obnoxious Snapchat caption. Be safe and look for fins, even in KANKLE DEEP WATER.”
It was unclear what type of shark the video showed, but many types of sharks that live in Carolinas waters can be found in shallow waters, especially near steep drop-offs, including: blacktips, bulls and sand tigers, according to National Geographic. Sharks also sometimes chase prey, such as schools of small fish, into shallow water.