Shark swims next to the Coast Guard boat from Maine
Raw video: Crew aboard the coast guard ship spot large fish as they return from search and rescue mission.
A U.S. coast guard crew had a close encounter with a huge shark this week, because it was returned from a search-and-rescue mission off the coast of Boothbay Harbor in New Jersey.
“While returning from a search and rescue case offshore, the crew of the 47′ MLB was a shark crossing her bow,” the US Coast Guard station in Boothbay Harbor posted on Facebook on Tuesday, along with a 20-second clip of the almost 20-foot shark.
Chief Adam Smart told the Portland Press Herald that the members of the crew saw the great sea creature from the shadow in the water and immediately took out their mobile phones to capture images as it swam next to the ship.
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“The shark stayed around for a few minutes, because the crew slowed the boat down. We didn’t want to touch it,” Smart told the newspaper, adding that the shark was about half the size of their boat.
The group’s Facebook followers were also under the impression of the shark’s size.
“I think we go to a bigger boat!” a user said.
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“Why do I immediately hear the music from the movie Jaws? Sorry. Love Sharks!” another joked.
“It is the real life in the Mouth and I’m terrified,” one woman reflected.
Members of the crew initially believed that the shark was a great white giant, although marine experts later identified as a basking shark, “not for a treatment to the man,” the icg stated.
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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the basking shark can be up to 32 metres in length. They are known for their grey-brown colour, and the uniqueness of their heads, is “almost surrounded by a huge gills,” the NOAA says.
Smart said the basking shark followed them for a while, but took a turn when the boat started picking up speed to reach the docking station.
“Everyone on the crew was pretty excited. It is common to see whales, but shark sightings are rare for our guys,” he told WCSH.
Smart told the Press Herald, the crew was investigating the reports of a deflated life raft in the area in which it was determined that old and of “no significance.”
Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.