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Mr Watson spotted the shark swimming near his children on his drone camera. Pic: Dan Watson

-Dan Watson was piloting his drone over New Smyrna Beach in Florida when he   saw the creature lurking beneath the surface of the water.

-The 35-year-old’s photos show his three children, aged between five and nine,   standing just feet from the animal.

-The two children of Mr Watson’s friend can also be seen in the photos.

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The shark swam in the other direction as the children sprinted out of the water. Pic: Dan Watson

The photographer, who captured the images on 22 June, told Sky News: “When I first spotted the shadow on my screen, panic immediately set in when I first spotted the shark.

“I shouted to my wife and told her there was a shark in the water [and to] get the kids out. After the kids were out of the water I began to second guess myself and started thinking it was probably nothing.

“It wasn’t until I was able to view the actual images the drone had captured that I realised it was for sure a shark and how close it had come.”

It is not clear what type of shark it was, but bull sharks, blacktip sharks and nurse sharks are among those found in the waters off Florida.

The professional photographer also posted the images on Instagram and told his followers: “See that dark shadow making its way straight for the shore and those people?

“That was my view this weekend while flying my Mavic 2 Pro… and oh, three of those people are my kids!”

He added that he started yelling at his kids to leave the water, saying: “Definitely too close of an encounter for my liking!”