Great white spotted off cape, estimated at 17-feet long - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Great white spotted off cape, estimated at 17-feet long

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BOSTON (WHDH) - A tuna fishing crew was off the coast of Cape Cod Monday when they got up close to a great white shark swimming under their boat.

Captain Tyler Macallister said the crew was about 15 miles off shore when they spotted what he describes as the biggest shark he’s seen.

“Her body was about 4-feet wide but tip-to-tip on the pectoral fins she was easily 9-feet wide. It was just an incredible animal,” he said

The captain says he's seen plenty of sharks in his 29-year career, but this one, at about 17-feet-long, was different.

“I've never seen one this big and you could tell she was the apex predator. She was not afraid of the boat, she was not afraid of the shadow we cast over her. She was as much checking us out as we were checking her out,” Macallister said.

Other crew members said they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“Fish, sharks whatever we're on, they get spooked and go down. As soon as we went by the shark, the wake came over her and she stayed right there. Then we kept passing over her with the pulpit, and she never got spooked,” first mate Todd Espindola said.

The state says this is the first confirmed picture or video evidence of a great white shark in New England this year.

Beyond her grand size and majestic presence captain Macallister said there was something else that caught his attention.

“She rolled up on her side and I could see the eyes. As Quint described them in 'Jaws' the black eyes; they're very black onyx eyes. They’re beautiful,” he said.

See more on the Captain's Facebook page.

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