LOCAL SURFER Matthew Wilkinson is keen to head back in the water despite his close encounter with a shark while surfing on Wednesday.

The professional surfer was surfing at Sharpes Beach at Ballina when the encounter occurred but said he'll be back in the water in no time.

"Probably not a few weeks, the next day if there's a sunny, blue, fun wave day I'll be back out there, I'll definitely be a bit more sensitive to the feelings I get and make sure if I do get freaked out I come in."

"I am kinda coming to the reality that I am going to be a little more scared going for surfs and every time something spooks me I am going to need to trust my instincts a little more and not convince myself that it was all good."

Wilkinson described how he initially brushed off the sound he heard around him which turned out to be the shark.

"I heard the plonk of the water when it (the shark) turned around and the water did a weird bubble and I heard that and I decided to pretend it was nothing, usually I guess it's a bird diving or dolphin or whatever, but I think I'll be more sensitive to it from now on."

Wilkinson described how his heart 'sunk' a little after he saw the drone footage of the shark encounter.

"Initially my heart kinda sank (seeing the footage) and I had a little freak out and then I think some adrenaline kicked in and I was on a little bit of a high that it was all good … a lot of emotions I guess."

"I was too far away for the megaphone to reach me so the drone pilot sent the drone back to me and there's a little speaker on that so I came in as soon as I heard the warning but it was a few minutes between the shark coming at me and me finding out."


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