Updated: July 9, 2012 6:13PM
Walter Szulc Jr. laughed it off when his teenage daughter told him they should watch out for sharks when the family went to a Cape Cod beach over the weekend.
Szulc wasn’t laughing a few minutes later, when he looked behind his kayak and saw the fin of a great white shark within a hand’s reach.
Szulc, of Manchester, N.H., said he immediately “paddled very fast” and was grateful when he reached the shore.
A photo of Szulc looking behind him, with the shark’s fin clearly visible, has been widely distributed over the Internet.
Nauset Beach in Orleans was closed briefly Saturday after Szulc’s encounter with the shark about 50 yards from shore. The beach reopened Sunday, and there have been no shark sightings since then.