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12-year-old Massachusetts boy reels in great white shark off Florida coast

Massachusetts boy reels in great white shark off Florida coast
Massachusetts boy reels in great white shark off Florida coast 02:27

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A 12-year-old boy from western Massachusetts made the catch of a lifetime, reeling in a great white shark off the coast of south Florida.

Campbell Keenan was on a family fishing trip about a mile off the coast of Fort Lauderdale Tuesday when he made the catch.

"It was like pushing a cement block with your fist," the sixth grader from Southampton told WBZ-TV.

He said he was nervous as he battled the great white.

"When it got to ten feet of the boat and we saw the belly, the captain was like, 'that right there is a great white shark!'" Campbell said.

In fact, he and his mom Colleen said it was so long, such a workout, everyone on deck was trying to keep him cool.

"We're pulling the coat off of him and you just see the sweat pouring down him," Colleen Keenan said. "He turns his hat backward and we're pouring Gatorade down his throat. His legs were shaking."

It took about 45 minutes for Keenan to reel in the shark, which is estimated to have been about 9 feet long and 400 pounds.

"I was scared that he was going to be pulled off the boat because it was so much pressure," Colleen said.

The sixth grader from Southampton was exhausted from reeling it in and not about to let go.

"I always thought I would catch some like decent fish, but not a great white, ever," Campbell said.

A great white they tagged, set free and named "Jan Jan" for his sister's hockey coach who was onboard.

An unforgettable day for a young fisherman and his very proud mom. She said her enduring memory will be Campbell's determination and grit. "There was no way he was letting that reel go," Colleen said.   

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