The crew of the US Coast Guard cutter Kimball had recently completed their tasking for the day and were ready to enjoy their swim call when a rather large shark decided to join them.
“We had not been off the ship for weeks, were at that point where every day feels like “Groundhog Day,” and were looking for something to break up the monotony,” the official Facebook page of one the service’s most sophisticated vessels said.
Some 30 to 40 crew were in the water with an inflatable unicorn when the shark was spotted by watchstanders. As they would later find out after reviewing footage of the encounter, the shark was between 6 and 8 feet long and could have been a long-fin mako or a pelagic thresher shark.
As the shark was just feet away from swimmers in the water, Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Samuel Cintron fired a few rounds near the shark, causing it to turn away.
While some crew went for the Jacob’s ladder on the Fantail, others went for the open stern notch at the ship’s stern, and a large group swam for the small boat.
“We kept directing people out of the water while keeping a clear line of sight on the shark. ME1 fired bursts as needed to keep the shark from his shipmates with amazing accuracy. The shark would wave off with each burst but kept coming back toward our shipmates,” the coast guard said.
No one was injured in the encounter but the crew decided to shift to a fish call for the afternoon. The service noted that the shark was likely unharmed as it later “joined a few smaller buddies that showed up and they swam off together.”
You can watch the entire encounter unfold in the video below: