Three fishermen had an uncomfortably close encounter with a great white shark off the Jersey Shore. Rob Pompilio, Mike Long and a friend, from Little Egg Harbor Township, encountered the shark Sunday afternoon, about 30 miles southeast of Atlantic City.
The men said they were shocked when they saw the shark circling their boat but had the presence of mind to record the incident on camera.
Rob Pompilio told NBC Philadelphia: "Unspeakable. Like nothing I've ever seen before. The teeth were huge. It came up, just grabbed the boat, saw it wasn't edible, went back down."
Mike Long, who, according to NBC Philadelphia, said his favorite movie was "Jaws," immediately grabbed his cell phone and recorded footage of the shark for his own version of his favorite movie: a real-life "Jaws" circling their boat menacingly. The men estimated the size of the shark at about 16 feet, more than half the size of their 28-foot boat.
The video shows the shark swimming around the boat. According to NBC Philadelphia, a marine expert, Bob Shoelkopf, of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, said great white shark sightings have become more common off the coast of New Jersey recently because the increasing population of seals is attracting them to the area.
The shark hung around the boat for about 10 minutes before it disappeared. The fishermen noted that it seemed more curious than aggressive. Notwithstanding, its sharp teeth left scratch marks on their boat as a testimony to the non-scientific nature of its curiosity.
Which went viral, the Great White Shark or the t-shirt message?
This is not the first time that fishermen have encountered a shark in the Jersey Shore area in recent times. According to the Huffington Post, a 303-pound, 8-foot-long mako leaped into a fishing boat near Manasquan after the fishermen decided to "bait feed" it. The creature thrashed dangerously around in the 31-foot boat as one of the men drove a hook into it and killed it.
After footage of the shark circling the the boat menacingly went viral online, The Blaze could not resist the temptation to add a political dimension to the story that reflects its conservative political bias. The website claims that the footage went viral online with thousands of postings to Facebook pages and Twitter not because of the shark but because one of the fishermen, Rob Pompilio, was sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with the Obama campaign logo and a statement "Worst President Ever."
According to The Blaze, people noted the message on the t-shirt after Pompilio posted a link to the story on his Facebook page.
What do you think?