Burgess said it appears the shark came to investigate the "thing" in the water, then got tangled up in the leash connecting the surfer and the surfboard. "But the reality is that this situation was more likely to be a situation where the shark was investigating a floating object at the water's surface than a full scale attack," he explained.
Burgess said that when these animals - the white sharks that riddle the waters around this part of South Africa -decide to really bite, they "take no prisoners." Great white sharks tend to come up to things, and even bite them, just to investigate, Burgess said. "The reality is most of those videos you see of the sharks jumping out of the water chasing something, they've been lured by photographers using styrofoam props in the shape of a seal," Burgess said.
In fact, you are more likely to die from lightning, fireworks and even sun exposure than a shark attack: Your chance of being killed by a shark is about 1 in 3.7 million.
What should you do if you do have an encounter? First and foremost, avoid locations that are famously full of sharks. "The location where this occurred is a very shark-y area," Burgess said.