"IT SEEMS unreal now --- I will always have a picture of her rushing out with fins getting closer each step," Helen Mclaughlin said.
The Tannum Sands mum has opened up about the moment a "shark" chased her grown-up daughter out of the water at Second Beach last week.
The local of 33 years threw her towel in the air and ran for her daughter, who was in chest high water, when she heard a piercing scream, "mum! Shark!"
She was walking her dog along the beach with her daughter and sister before they'd taken to the water.
WATCH: "Sting rays" spotted the same day Ms Mclaughlin's daughter was chased
But after 40mins, her and her sister went in, deciding it was too hot without sunscreen --- leaving her daughter in chest high water for another 10mins or so.
"[My daughter] was facing us, then did a face about and saw what you always scan for, but never see," she said.
Ms Mclaughlin watched in horror as the "shark" chased her daughter to the shoreline, getting within 2ft of her legs as she waded out of the shallows.
"It was so freaky… And then they took off just as quick. Amazing. [I] thought they'd bite her leg."
Ms Mclaughlin's daughter didn't want to speak or be named out of concern she would be criticised for still believing it was a shark.
And Ms Mclaughlin was shocked to see so many Facebook users questioning the sighting, saying it certainly wasn't a dolphin or a sting ray, "unless rays are big with fins and come after you".
She reported that she'd seen two large black and white fins, but Ms Mclaughlin can't be entirely certain it was two sharks.
She said she'd been left shocked by the freak incident after swimming in the water for decades.
But with hindsight, she's unsurprised by the run-in because of the recent spate of shark attacks and sightings.