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Coast Guard crew aboard the USCG cutter Kimball got quite the shock recently during an open water swim call. Just as the crew enjoyed a break in the water, complete with an inflatable unicorn, a giant shark swam in to break up the party. That’s when a crewman sprang into action.

Coast Guard Crewman Uses Rifle to Turn Away Shark

“Everything was by the numbers,” read a Kimball Facebook page post. “Everyone was having a great day. Everyone was smiling and having fun. It was perfect! And then… bridge personnel reported ‘Shark!’ over the radio.”

A shark, reportedly 6- to 8-feet long, swam toward the crew. But a Coast Guard crewman used his service rifle to keep Jaws from gobbling up his shipmates. The crewman repeatedly used well-placed rifle fire to turn the shark away. Meanwhile, a smaller vessel and other personnel fished the swimmers out of the water.

“Our goal was to keep it away from shipmates, not harm it if possible,” the Facebook post reads. “It was most likely curious and not looking for a meal.”

A Coast Guard crewman used well-placed rifle fire to turn away a shark.
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Photo

“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,” the post added.

At the end of the day, thanks to good work and communication, all the crew, and even the shark, lived to swim another day. And our man got an excuse to send some rounds downrange.

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