A large shark swam mere feet away from an aspiring German actress, who claims she had no idea it was there.

Simone Gutsche, 34, claims that astonished sunbathers on the beach near Orlando, Florida, waved wildly at her, but she mistook them for friends.

She claims she didn’t get out until everyone started shrieking and sprinting towards the water.

Ms. Gutsche, a secretary who also moonlights as a model and actor, didn’t believe a shark was swimming 15 feet behind her until she saw a photo later.

It looks to depict her splashing in the surf in her green bikini, with the shark’s fin protruding out of the water.

‘It was great on Cocoa Beach,’ she told the German tabloid Bild. There were no people in the water and only a couple of couples on the beach. ‘The solitude was quite lovely.’

‘Then a couple of people started waving at me.’ I waved back at them because I wanted to be friendly as well.’

‘I was so afraid after viewing the photo that I didn’t put a foot in the water for the rest of the day,’ she added.

The beach at Cape Canaveral is frequented by dangerous tiger sharks.

They are the most dangerous species for humans, along with white sharks, and can grow to be 21 feet long.