Anela Rezentes was swimming off Hawaii’s Kalama Beach on Sunday when a shark approached her in shallow water.
The six-year-old’s mother, Sheri Gouevia, filmed the shark circling Anela, who turned around to see it facing her.
Anela is seen trying to get away from the shark – its fins and tail visibly thrashing above the surface in the footage.
“By the time she came out of the water,” said Ms Gouevia to KHON2, “she was hysterical that there was a shark in the water.”
The resident of Kailua, Hawaii, told the station that she ran up to the water after Anela ran towards her on the beach, but couldn’t see the shark.
Ms Gouevia, who was filming before the shark began circling Anela, was asked by another swimmer if she saw the shark circling the six-year-old, but she said ‘no’.
Anela told KHON2: “My soul left my body. I saw a shark. I didn’t notice he was behind my back. So I really wanted to run out. I was really scared.”
According to the station, the shark was thought to be a blacktip that was chasing fish in the shallow waters off Kalama beach.
“You got a much bigger chance of getting struck by lightening than being attacked by a shark,” said Dr. Andrew Rossiter Rossiter, the director of Waikiki’s aquarium. to KHON2.
“The only reason a shark encounters have gone up over the past decade or so, is that the number of people doing water sports, whether that’s diving, swimming, stand up paddle boarding has increased,” Dr Rossiter added.
Although the species is usually timid around humans, it has been known to attack swimmers.
The incident involving Anela was followed by another shark sighting on the North Beach at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on Monday.