Swimmers had to evacuate the water at the beach in Duxbury, Massachusetts, Monday, after a great white shark was spotted about 75-100 yards off the coast.
Massachusetts State Police took video of the shark from their helicopter, saying it measured about 12-14 feet. It was close enough to shore that swimmers were suddenly flagged in by lifeguards.
"All of a sudden the lifeguard with the megaphone came around saying everybody get out of the water," swimmer Jane Foster said.
Lifeguard Rob Benting said he was afraid people would "panic," he didn't originally tell them why they were being called out of the water. Nevertheless, some people weren't so calm.
"She was screaming, 'There's a shark in the water, everyone get out of the water, don't get in,' and everyone was freaking out, the whole beach cleared immediately," said another swimmer Brooke Stuhr, speaking about one woman.
The great white was spotted around 1:30 p.m. by the Massachusetts State Police's air-wing up on routine patrol. They followed the shark south in the ocean, where it eventually swam towards deeper water and then disappeared.
"I've been here for a while and this is the first one of this magnitude," Steve Studley, Duxbury Assistant Recreation Director, said
Swimmers were advised to stay out of the water for an hour after the sighting. After that, they were told they could swim at their "own risk" and only go up to their waists. Some swimmers even had some fun with the whole experience. One person even drew an image of a shark in the sand with a simple message: "YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT."
"We've got Jaws-Duxbury," one resident said, adding "I've lived here 30 years, never heard of a shark this close in Duxbury."