Paddleboarders experienced a close encounter with a hammerhead shark on June 25 during a crossing from the Bahamas to Florida.
Malea Tribble of Ft. Lauderdale Florida was participating in The Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, an annual charity event to raise awareness for the cystic fibrosis community. During her crossing, her husband and relay partner, Ricky, spotted the dorsal fin of the shark as it rose up behind Malea on her board. (RELATED: Woah! Shark Appears Out Of Nowhere To Attack Man And Pulls Him Out Of Boat!)
View this post on Instagram
Their team was almost halfway across the Gulf Stream, out of sight of land, when the shark appeared, according to The Crossing’s Instagram post.
Both Ricky and Malea are experienced paddlers and official mentors with The Crossing For CF community. They reacted calmly, despite only 16 recorded incidents between humans and hammerhead sharks since 1900, according to Global Shark Attack File.
“None of us felt unsafe. We felt calm. I didn’t have time to allow myself to be scared. Even an encounter as unique as mine, would not deter me from competing in The Crossing again. Our ‘why’ for this event is the foundation itself. As a CF family, we always come back to that. This event is about being “Bold in the Face of Fear” – mother nature made that a reality for me in a way I never imagined. I faced a huge fear of mine, and came out stronger than I ever thought I would be, and in reality it was not as scary as I anticipated,” Malea said.
Travis Suit, the founder and executive director of The Crossing, said on the Instagram post, “We are grateful Malea was not harmed and so proud of the calm and disciplined response the Tribble’s had during the situation as paddle mentors in this event, providing a great example of how to handle close encounters like this. We are visitors when we are in the ocean, it’s really their home, so it’s to be expected.”