STATE — A Great White shark greeted a New Jersey fisherman as thousands of beach-goers flocked to the shore to enjoy the start of summer.
Steve Clark captured his encounter with the shark about 5 p.m. Saturday at 28-Mile Wreck, the site of a World War II shipwreck off of Cape May, New Jersey, aboard his 35-foot-boat, the 35 Everglades.
“We were worried that it was going to harm the engine. It started to mouth it, but it wasn’t actually biting down,” Clark said. “I think it was just feeling it. It was just cool because she stayed around the boat for so long and really let us look at her.”
The shark swam around Clark’s boat for about 20 minutes before tearing a chum basket off the side and swimming nearby.
Members of the crew took photos and videos of the shark during the encounter. One video shows the shark gnashing at the chum bag until it finally rips it from the fasteners holding it to the boat, and then disappears into the depths with its free meal.
Although the Garden State’s coastline is not known for frequent shark attacks, their number has been on the rise in recent years due to increases in human and seal populations, as well as the predator’s migration patterns.
While shark attacks at New Jersey beaches in July 1916 inspired “Jaws,” the 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name.
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