A commercial fishing crew caught a 6-foot great white shark off the coast of Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island on Sunday.
A Facebook post with pictures and videos of the shark has gone viral, with more than 24,000 shares.
Fisherman Michael Lorello said in the post that they accidentally caught the great white about 3/4 of a mile off Misquamicut around 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
He told NBC Connecticut it accidentally got caught in their net and they had to quickly find a way to get it back into the water.
They used a rope and a winch to lift the shark and then cut it loose back into the water.
Lorello, of Westerly, Rhode Island, has been fishing for 19 years and said he’s never caught a great white shark before. He did catch a mako last week off of Nantucket.
While sharks aren’t uncommon to that area, great whites are, said William Hana with Mystic Aquarium. He said great whites normally do not prey on humans.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions – sharks have a very, very pivotal role to keep the ecosystem balanced. Especially large ones like great whites,” Hana said.
Some ways for swimmers to protect themselves in the water is to not swim in murky water because sharks could mistake a human leg for prey, according to Hana. Don’t wear shiny objects. And, be wary if a swimmer is bleeding or recently cut since sharks can smell a little drop of blood from miles away.
There have been 15 great white sightings in the Massachusetts area, including the one in Rhode Island, since Saturday, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Sharktivity Map.