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Video shows man take ride with basking shark off Cape Cod, "I felt this energy"

Quincy man dives with basking shark in Buzzards Bay
Quincy man dives with basking shark in Buzzards Bay 02:23

QUINCY - It was a close encounter with a massive basking shark off the coast of Massachusetts that Adriano Rodrigues won't soon forget. First seeing the dorsal fin, then wanting to do more than get close to it.

Adriano Rodrigues spotted this basking shark in Buzzard's Bay on June 12, 2024. Adriano Rodrigues

"My first thought was I got to get in the water with this guy. I always wanted to do that. I always wanted to dive with a shark," Rodrigues told WBZ-TV.

"Took me down about 15 feet"    

He was ready for diving, heading out to Buzzards Bay Wednesday morning with his diving buddy for spearfishing. That's when he decided to grab his GoPro camera and seize the moment, capturing video that shows him taking the ride and holding onto the fin on the back of the shark. 

"It was a little bit slippery, and he took me down about 15 feet," he said. "But when I touch him, I felt this energy was so great it was amazing."

Basking shark
Adriano Rodrigues captured video when he swam with a basking shark in Buzzards Bay. CBS Boston

He was riding not just a shark, but pure adrenaline and he thinks the shark knew it. "When I grabbed it, the shark felt it, he started swimming and I thought alright it's time to go," he said. Rodrigues said he held on for about 10 to 15 seconds. 

Basking sharks are often confused with great whites, and both are plentiful right now in the waters off Massachusetts. So, Rodrigues knew he could have company. 

"I thought about another fish diving and swimming with them, I thought about great white sharks around it. I thought about many things," he said.

Expert encourages respectful viewing of marine life

There are no specific regulations that would prohibit someone from taking the thrill ride that Adriano Rodrigues took. But experts say it's important to know the species before taking any risk. 

 "It's riskier than he thinks just because if he spooked it, and it decided to swim and batted him with its tail, that's several tons of animal right there," said John Chisholm with the New England Aquarium.

Chisolm encourages respectful viewing of marine life. "Maintain a respectable distance, don't crowd it, you don't know what it's going to do," he said.

But Rodrigues, a long-time diver, thought this was a once in a lifetime chance. "That's what I live for," he said. "It's true." He says it was worth every second. 

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