VIDEO: Fishermen have Close Encounter with Great White Shark Off NJ Coast

June 19, 2019 - 10:49 am

A group of fishermen may need a bigger boat after a close encounter with a great white shark about 30 miles off the New Jersey coast, CBS station WCBS-TV reports. The boat's captain likened the experience to the movie "Jaws."

"I think it could have easily, if it wanted to, slid into the boat," Capt. Jeff Crilly told the station. "It was like being in the movie 'Jaws,' like that was the closest thing to it."

WARNING LANGUAGE NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN: The video is care of Facebook Jeff Crilly 

The five men from Toms River, New Jersey, had been on the water for nearly 13 hours Monday when the roughly 18-foot-long, 3,000-pound great white zeroed in on the 43-year-old boat. "It circled two or three times before it actually came at us aggressively," Sean Smida told WCBS-TV.

Raymond Kerico told the station the shark tore off the bag of chum hanging from the side of the boat. "We wanted to be there and touch it," Crilly told the station, "but same time we were backing away because we didn't know what it was going to do."

Crilly posted photos and videos of the encounter to Facebook, which show the great white chomping on the chum bag against the boat. If Crilly didn't have the images, he told WCBS-TV he could illustrate the experience with his right forearm, where he has a "Jaws"-inspired tattoo.

"When you're out there in a boat like that with a fish that big, you feel very small," Steve Minkema told WCBS-TV. Smida told the station the great white was so close it scratched the boat's stern.

"We've been fishing together for 15 years, and it was the best moment probably we'll ever have on the water," Kerico said. The men didn't show any fear in Crilly's videos.

"You're there," Minkema said. "You have no choice, so what are you going to do? Just enjoy the moment."