A group of coast guardsman–coasties as they prefer to be called–got a real taste of adventure on Wednesday afternoon. An 8 foot Mako shark decided to interrupt their swim call but was thwarted by another coastie with a gun. Everyone survived including the shark.
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball posted the most amazing account on their Facebook page. Here’s how it all went down.
After completing our operations for the day, there were no vessels around for miles, the weather was perfect, and we were a zillion miles from land. 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. Answer: Swim Call!
The ship had a plan that included lifeguards, rescue boats and an armed team on shark patrol. The boat turned off its engines and the coasties took to water like suntan lotion to skin.
Everyone was having a great day. Everyone was smiling and having fun. It was perfect! And then… Bridge personnel reported “Shark!” over the radio.
No one panicked as the shark patrol team went into action!
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! ME1 Cintron, our shark watch, was on the Flight Deck and immediately locked on target…literally!
Photos show the coasties floating and swimming in the clear blue water as it swims towards them. One of the guardsman has a blow up unicorn raft.
ME1 Cintron fired a well-aimed burst right at/on top of the shark to protect shipmates just feet away. It turned away for a few seconds then turned back. 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.
Bravo ME1 Cintron!
The only injury was a small scrape OS3 Berk suffered while climbing aboard. Our hyper vigilant HSC didn’t even deem it worth a band aid. But where was it located you ask? On his knee….in the center of a tattoo. What tattoo you ask? An open set of shark’s teeth. Seriously, you can’t make this up!