[WATCH] Drone captures great white shark circling unsuspecting surfers in Plett

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has issued a safety warning for surfers and swimmers after a very close shark encounter was caught on camera.

Drone footage captures a great white shark encounter in Plettenberg Bay. Screengrab: Zachary Berman/YouTube

Spine-chilling drone footage shows a close encounter between a group of paddlers and a great white shark near Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday.

The shark swims in circles beneath the group of sea lovers, who are initially unaware of its presence.

The drone footage was shot by 14-year-old Zachary Berman, who posted the video to his YouTube account.

The NSRI posted some of the video footage on Twitter along with an urgent safety warning to all beachgoers along the Southern Cape coastline.

A number of shark sightings and encounters have been reported close inshore along the Plettenberg Bay coastline over the past few weeks, the most recent of which took place on Sunday and on Tuesday.

Due to the high number of reported great white shark sightings, the NSRI is appealing to the public exercise caution, particularly around the coastline of Plettenberg Bay and between Mossel Bay and Jeffreys Bay.

The NSRI says increased shark activity around this time of year is to be expected.

According to Shark Spotters CEO Sarah Waries, the drone footage shows that the inquisitive shark was investigating the surfers.

"Although shark bites are rare, water users must understand the inherent risk associated with sharing the ocean with these animals and change their behaviour accordingly to avoid encountering sharks", Waries has told the NSRI.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [WATCH] Drone captures great white shark circling unsuspecting surfers in Plett