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US Coast Guard forced to open fire on shark closing in on swimmers

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A handful of US Coast Guard members had a close encounter with a shark during a dip in the ocean earlier this week.

A handful of US Coast Guard members had a close encounter with a shark during a dip in the ocean earlier this week.

More than 30 US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew members decided to go swimming during their break on Tuesday, taking with them an inflatable unicorn into the water to enjoy what they described in a Facebook post as "perfect" weather.

But then the group spotted a shark - they estimated it was over two metres long - about nine metres away swimming directly toward them, according to the USCGC, who shared a video of the incident on Facebook.

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The coast guard belives that the shark was a Long-Fin Mako or Pelagic Thresher shark.

"Everyone was having a great day. Everyone was smiling and having fun," the USCGC wrote in their social media post.

"It was perfect. And then... Bridge personnel reported "Shark" over the radio."

After bridge personnel reported the shark sighting, Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Samuel Cintron locked in on the shark and let off a few rounds on top of where the shark was swimming.

The shark briefly turned away for a few seconds and turned back.

All the crew members in the water swam to get out of the ocean.

Some made their way to a small boat that was in the water with the crew, while others went for a ladder on the Fantail.

Some swam toward an open stern notch at the ship's stern.

Mr Cintron continued to fire bursts at the shark.

Each burst briefly took the shark off its path, but it kept turning back and Mr Cintron had to continue firing until all of his shipmates were safe, the USCGC said.

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Many didn't realise a shark was swimming toward the ship until ME1 opened fire on it to keep it away from them

After reviewing video footage, the USCGC said it believes the shark was a Long-Fin Mako or Pelagic Thresher shark, "not something to mess with".

Luckily, all crew members made it safely out of the water.

No swimmers were harmed and the according to the coast guard no shots hit the shark. They even managed to save the inflatable unicorn.

"We even saved the inflatable unicorn," USCGC said.

And, the crew added, "we don't think the shark was injured...It later joined a few smaller buddies that showed up and they swam off together."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/us-news-shark-threatening-swimmers-faces-open-fire-from-coast-guard-cutter/8f54e767-8be1-4bbc-af86-5ee9bbac53c3

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