The shark began thrashing around as it was swept onto the beach at Collaroy’s Fishermans Beach.
Michael Dingwall caught the rare moment on camera, and estimated the shark to be around 5ft long.
Speaking to Australia’s Daily Telegraph, he said: “I wasn’t going to get too close. When it came up the beach everyone took a step back.
“I’ve been walking up and down the northern beaches for the past 30 years and I’ve never seen a shark come that close to shore.”
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary’s life sciences manager Rob Townsend said the shark may have been disoriented or chasing a fish.
He guessed the animal was either a blue shark or a mako.
The blue shark is a species of requiem shark that inhabits deep waters in the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. Preferring cooler waters, blue sharks migrate long distances, such as from New England to South America.
Although generally lethargic, they can move very quickly. Blue sharks are noted for large litters of 25 to over 100 pups, and feed primarily on small fish and squid, although they can take larger prey.
According to Wikipedia, blue sharks rarely attack humans. From 1580 up until 2013 the blue shark has been implicated in only 13 attacks upon humans, four of which ended fatally.
The blue shark, therefore, is certainly not the most dangerous shark in Australia, which sees great whites and tigers sharks frequent the water.
Back in September, a British expat was killed by a shark while swimming in the ocean in Byron Bay.