Crew members on a U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat encountered what they thought might be a great white shark off the coast of Boothbay Harbor in Maine on Monday.
Chief Adam Smart said the 47-foot boat was returning from a search-and-rescue mission when its four-man crew spotted a large light-colored shark crossing the boat's bow.
Crew members took video of the creature, which they said resembled a great white shark, although Smart pointed out that his sailors are not marine experts. News Center Maine (WCSH-TV) contacted a marine expert who said it could have been a basking shark.
They were unable to measure the shark, but estimated its length -- compared with the boat's length -- at about 20 feet.
"The shark stayed around for a few minutes because the crew slowed the boat down. We didn't want to hit it," Smart said.
But when the boat departed for its home station in Boothbay Harbor, Smart said, "The shark followed them for little while before peeling off."
Smart said the crew encountered the shark about 9 miles off the coast of Boothbay Harbor, near Damariscove Island.
The Coast Guard crew had been dispatched to the area to investigate a report of an old and partially deflated life raft, which turned out to be of no significance, Smart said.
This article is written by Dennis Hoey from Portland Press Herald, Maine and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.