By Tristan Jung
It was all fun and games until the shark arrived. The crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball was enjoying a swim call in the Pacific Ocean when a 6-to-8-foot shark was spotted near the ship, headed straight for the swimmers.
The video shows how it all unfolded:
After many long days at sea, the Coast Guard crew had set up a special swim call for 40 crew members as a change of pace. The swim was set up with safety briefs and an armed shark watch. However, the crew of the Kimball was still very surprised to see a shark, possibly a longfin mako or pelagic thresher, arrive on site and go straight for the swimmers in a scene straight from Jaws or The Meg.
Maritime Enforcement Specialist First Class Samuel Cintron was on shark watch and was ordered to quickly fire warning shots to divert the threatening fish. The shark turned away briefly before coming for a second pass, requiring more bursts. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard crew scrambled to get out of the water.
The shots successfully scared the shark away, likely saving a crewmember from a shark attack. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident, including the shark and the massive inflatable unicorn. It was later reported that the shark convened with its buddies and looked for easier prey.
Navy and Coast Guard vessels maintain shark watches and polar bear watches, but it’s rare for an emergency response to occur. Hopefully, the sharks and the Coasties can maintain a helpful detente in the future.