Coast Guardsman Opens Fire On Mako Shark: ‘I Wasn’t Willing To Risk The Lives Of My Shipmates’

Facebook/U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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A U.S. Coast Guardsman assigned to USCG Cutter Kimball engaged a different kind of enemy during a recent swim call, opening fire on a mako shark that approached his shipmates in the water.

“Shark!” the call went out as some 30-40 members of the crew were enjoying a swim in open water, and ME1 Samuel Cintron, who was on shark watch at the time, had just seconds to respond. (RELATED: US Coast Guard Eager For Deployment To The Highly-Contested South China Sea)


Cintron explained during a Thursday appearance on “Good Morning America” that the decision to engage the shark — in an attempt to scare it away — was a simple one. “I wasn’t willing to risk the lives of my shipmates. I made the call.”

The gunshots appeared not to hurt the shark but served their intended purpose, driving it away from the people in the water as they moved quickly to get back onboard the Kimball and another smaller boat nearby.


“The Coast Guard says everyone on the flight deck had a bird’s-eye view of the ordeal. While it wasn’t the panic of the Fourth of July scene in ‘Jaws,’ once they figured it out they moved with a purpose,” Erielle Reshef added.