November 30th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Great white shark spotted off ... North Carolina?

Matt Garrett of Boston, Massachusetts, and a group of friends decided to go fishing off the coast of North Carolina over the Thanksgiving weekend and things were going swimmingly.

“It was our second time fishing. We went fishing the day before,” Garrett said, adding that he intended to enjoy a day of leisure.  “I brought my golf clubs and fishing rods,” he said.

But as they navigated about 25 miles off Wrightsville Beach, something fishy happened.

"Everything was biting (at first), then all of a sudden nothing was biting at all. We knew something was up,” he said.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark."

A great white shark.

Garrett said, "It was all amazement, seeing such a large living creature. It also doesn't seem real. It was very surreal!"

The shark T-boned the boat, turned around and slapped the boat with its tail, Garrett said.

Capturing it all on his iPhone 4S, Garrett said, “It didn't sink in until later that this was so significant," he said.

Paul Barrington of the NC Aquarium confirmed to CNN affiliate WECT that it was indeed a great white shark, a rarity for North Carolina waters, but not unheard of.

Barrington told WECT the shark was likely just being nosey. Garrett figured as much. "He nudged us with his nose and turned around and slapped the boat with his tail," he told the station.

Asked if he ever got out golfing, Garrett said, “I got out for nine holes and I assure you it wasn’t nearly as exciting.”


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Filed under: North Carolina • Sharks • U.S.
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. jay

    I would like to see you 3 try to catch a big shark thats right your to fat & lazy

    November 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stacy

      I would like to see you three catch a shark. That's right, you're too fat and lazy.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zippy

      Try buying a speak-n-spell, Jay - it'll help you with your obvious spelling and grammar problems.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I would like to see you learn the difference between your and you're.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaman13

      They may be fat and lazy (doubtful, but whatever...) but I bet they could make a post with proper punctuation and spelling. Be less stupid, Jay.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • twh

      Lay off Jay ok guys? He had a bad week at school. His mom grounded him too...

      November 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ^This guy is dumb^

      Wow!! I really hope this "Jay" character isn't a child of the future. I fear the worst for this generation. Do they still sell Speak and Spell? I was thinking of buying it for my son because he's 4 years old. It would be a waste of money considering that he can write full fledged sentences with correct grammar and punctuation, with a crayon. Much better than this "Jay" guy. What doesn't help is that I'm sure he relied on the websites automatic spell checker. Sad.....

      November 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    You're gonna need a bigger boat...

    November 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • sh

      Awesome, I was thinking the sam thing. I love that movie.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bravo

    Don't tell the Chinese about it,...that is a lot of shark fin soup.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Papo

    I thought the "sharks swimming with the cresting fin" thing was a myth?

    November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jaws

    Hooper: "Thats a twenty footer!"
    Quint: "Twenty-Five."

    November 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. George Patton

    Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!
    I've never seen it spelled nosey.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Quint

    Sometimes they go away, sometimes they don't go away...

    November 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jack

    I saw a Sun Fish come up and turn over a few years back when I was fishing in the Florida Keys. I heard getting to see that fish was like getting to see a Pink Unicorn come in for an injured Tom Brady and throw the game winning touchdown at a superbowl. Pretty awesome indeed.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bones

      I saw an Atlantic sunfish and 2 basking sharks on the same day in the ocean off Cape Cod. the sunfish was probably 15 feet across, and the basking sharks were longer than 30 feet. we were in a 28 foot boat and they were a good deal longer than the boat. We didn't catch anything for fish, but it was still the best day fishing I've ever had.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. steven

    That would be an awesome experience. I am sure a little bit frightening too but well worth it and a once in a lifetime experience.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rsprings

    That's a big fish. If you measure the distance from the dorsal to the tail it will give you the full length.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. molinyc

    for a second i thought it was an iphone commercial. jeezz. these apple phanboys are everywhere..

    November 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jim

    No way! A shark in the OCEAN??? WOOOOOAH!

    November 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. MashaSobaka

    I wanna see a great white....

    November 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shark Bait

      <>
      Now that's a great white!! Want me to chum the water for ya?

      November 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rachael

    Duh NUH! Duh NUH! Duh nuh, duh nuh, duh nuh, duh nuh, duh nuh, duh nuh, duh NUH!

    November 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Kate

    WOW! I live in N.C.. Scary to think there are Great Whites in the water, when all I used to fear was the jelly fish.

    November 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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