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Great White Shark Spotted Off South Jersey Coast

By Matt Rivers, Andrew Kramer

BRIGANTINE, N.J. (CBS) – What looks to be a Great White Shark was spotted off the coast of the South Jersey shore.

Three videos posted on YouTube and shared on Twitter show the shark circling a boat near the so-called 28-mile wreck off Brigantine.

The video, which has blown up on social media, shows the shark getting very close to the boat.

"It was awesome. It wasn't scary, cause we're used to sharks. It was awesome," says Steve Clark.

Clark owns the 35 foot boat that was all that separated him and his passengers from the razor sharp teeth of the shark.

"It swam down the length of the boat and I happened to see it first," he tells CBS3 Eyewitness News. "Obviously, I was a little bit stunned. I didn't say anything to anybody, I was looking at it, trying to process the information, cause it was quite a big fish."

Clark, who got an up close and personal look at the shark, guessed it weighed  just under a ton and was about 16 feet long.

"It would swim, circle the boat, maybe go under the boat, come back several times, look at us." he said.

The people on board the boat actually went out fishing for mako sharks, and hung a chum bucket off the side of the boat to attract them. In the video, you can see the great white reach up and rip the chum bucket off the boat.

When they returned to shore to get a new one, the shop owner actually gave them a discount after hearing their story.

The shark hung out by the boat for about 20 minutes. The only time the group got nervous was when the shark began gnawing on their outboard motor.

"The likelihood of seeing one that close, it's probably never gonna happen again. It was a great event, a once-in-a-lifetime deal," said Clark.

An expert with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine who spoke with CBS3 Eyewitness News said it's not out of the realm of possibility Great Whites are swimming that close to the coast.

He also said they should remain far enough where they aren't a danger to swimmers on the beach.

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