HORRIFYING footage captures the dramatic moment a seal attacks a screaming woman after she swam too close.
Chilling video shows the mother monk seal charging at the terrified woman just 20 feet from the shore in Waikiki, Hawaii.
In the clip, the woman can be heard screaming before a man on a kayak paddles over to save her.
The shocking attack took place at around 8am local time on Sunday at Kaimana Beach in Honolulu.
Hawaii News Now reports that the woman had previously been warned about the dangers of swimming in the area by marine life officials.
The monk seal, which can measure around 7.5 feet long and weigh up to 450 pounds, was reportedly nursing, and so was likely to be extra-protective of its newborn cub.
Witness Curt Otsuka who filmed the clip said it was the “mother’s instinct to protect her pup.”
He went on: “Everybody was yelling careful, careful, get away.”
Another witness Markus Faigle said: “You heard her screams, this poor woman was terrified.”
The injured woman was pulled from the water by nearby beachgoers with wounds to her upper arm.
Emergency crews arrived and she was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Her condition isn’t known.
“If it wasn’t for the kayak guy paddling over to save her she would have got chomped,” Otsuka added.
“And she was just defending her child and this poor swimmer, my heart goes out to her, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
He said he filmed the clip because he “had a really bad feeling”.
Hawaii’s Marine Animal Response team (HMAR) has been keeping tabs on the mother and pup monk seals.
You heard her screams, this poor woman was terrified
It isn’t known whether the woman was a local or a tourist, but HMAR said she had been warned previously about swimming in the area close to monk seals.
Signs and barriers are posted around the beach warning visitors of the dangers of swimming close to monk seals.
In a statement, HMAR said: “People are again reminded that Hawaiian monk seal moms with pups are protective, can be dangerous, and have inflicted serious wounds on nearby swimmers.
“We continue to warn people not to engage in in-water activities when a monk seal mother with a pup are in the area and to stay at least 150 feet from mother seals with pups.”
Some beachgoers complained that visitors don’t pay enough attention to the warning signs on the beaches.
“There are signs on this beach here saying give seals space,” visitor Jody Newton from Australia said. “There’s enough for people to actually follow the rules and it’s very clear.”
While local retiree Larry Akiyama said of some tourists: “These people don’t listen to us. They don’t even listen to anybody.”