A shark trying out its best Jaws cosplay ended up getting shot at by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball's crew had spent a number of days at sea and decided that they needed a good break in the ocean, which they refer to as a "swim call." It's a common thing for Coast Guards to do, especially when the weather and swimming conditions are pristine. With that being said, sometimes the clear water reveals uninvited visitors, as the Cutter Kimball crew learned.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew were located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. According to the official Facebook post, they were a "zillion miles from land." The crew had not been off the ship for weeks, which is when the days start to blur together like Groundhog Day. So after operations were finished, about 40 crew members took a dip in the middle of the deep blue sea. You can read how they prepared for their swim break below.
"We had a fully vetted and tested plan we've used before, conducted safety briefs, established communications between the various stations, launched our small boat with extra crew and a dressed out swimmer and stationed it 50 yards off the ship, set an armed shark watch, opened and manned the Rescue Station, and put an accountability system in place."
During all of the years of this particular crew and others doing "swim calls," they had never experienced a shark encounter. "We have hundreds of years at sea between all of us and no one has seen or heard of a shark actually showing up during a swim call," according to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball Facebook post. "This goes to show why we prepare for any and everything. We just didn't think it would be a swim call shark attack!" That's exactly what happened when a decent-sized shark started stalking the crew, trying to turn the "swim call" into a Jaws massacre. You can read about the incident below.
"As if right out of a Hollywood movie, a 6-8 foot shark (no exaggeration) surfaced at the Rescue Door and was swimming toward 30-40 people in the water about 30 feet away. Everyone on the Flight Deck had a bird's eye view. A review of video shot by a crew member reveals it was likely a Long-Fin Mako or Pelagic Thresher Shark - not something to mess with!"
With the shark stalking the crew, the U.S. Coast Guard shark watch operator started to open fire on the shark. "The shark would wave off with each burst but kept coming back toward our shipmates", the post said. "We don't think the shark was injured. Our goal was to keep it away from shipmates, not harm it if possible. It was most likely curious and not looking for a meal." After a while, the shark got the hint and swam away with a few of its friends.
However, the "swim call" was all over by this point. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew all got back on board. The type of shark in Jaws is a Great White Shark, a beast that has been known to attack humans. Long-Fin Mako and Pelagic Thresher Sharks are also something that humans do not want to run into in the middle of the ocean. Luckily, a real-life Jaws situation was avoided as the crew got away safe and the shark swam off unharmed. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball Facebook page was the first to share their story.