Crew members on the U.S Coast Guard Cutter Kimball had a close encounter with a shark recently and it turned into "one of the most amazing events" they've ever experienced at sea.
After finishing up their work on Tuesday, the crew members decided to take advantage of perfect weather conditions and remote location "a zillion miles from land" to enjoy some swimming time.
"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 ship's crew explained in a Facebook post.
What followed next certainly broke up the monotony.
The crew explained that they had a well-developed plan to make sure everyone would be safe while swimming. A small rescue boat, an armed shark watcher and a rescue station were all part of the plan.
"Everyone was having a great day. Everyone was smiling and having fun. It was perfect," the post on the Cutter Kimball Facebook page described
But all the fun and games soon turned into more like a Hollywood movie when someone aboard the ship radioed "Shark!" as it began swimming toward 30-40 people in the water.
The crew member assigned to "shark watch" tried to deter the six- to eight- foot predator by shooting near it, in hopes of it staying away from the swimmers.
"ME1 Cintron fired a well-aimed burst right at/on top of the shark to protect shipmates just feet away," the Facebook post described. "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."
Crew members began swimming in different directions to get out of the water. Video of the ordeal was captured by a crew member on board the ship.
"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," a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball wrote on their Facebook page. "This goes to show why we prepare for any and everything. We just didn’t think it would be a swim call shark attack!"
Thankfully, the only injury sustained was a crew member scraping his knee while climbing aboard. Ironically, the scrape was right in the middle of a tattoo the crew member has of shark's teeth.
It isn't believed the shark sustained any injuries.