U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball / Family
It was a perfect sunny day when Hawaii-based U.S. Coast Guard members aboard the 416-foot-long Cutter Kimball decided to go for a swim. The crew had been on the ship for four weeks mainly focused on local operations so jumping in was refreshing for them.
“We had not been off the ship for weeks, were at that point where every day feels like ‘Groundhog Day,’ and were looking for something to break up the monotony,” the Cutter Kimball Facebook account shared.
The weather was beautiful on August 20th, 2020, so the crew finalized their routine checks and took a break to enjoy the water.
“Everything was by the numbers. Everyone was having a great day. Everyone was smiling and having fun. It was perfect!” U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball said. “And then… Bridge personnel reported ‘Shark!’ over the radio.”
Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Samuel Cintron, the shark watch, locked eyes on the target and opened fire shooting several bullets after his chief gave him the orders to shoot.
“ME1 fired bursts as needed to keep the shark from his shipmates with amazing accuracy. The shark would wave off with each burst but kept coming back toward our shipmates.”
Fortunately, all crew members were able to swim to the ship and make it back safe. Regarding the shark, he was seen swimming in the water with no potential injuries.
“We even saved the inflatable unicorn! We don’t think the shark was injured…It later joined a few smaller buddies that showed up and they swam off together.”