9-Foot Great White Shark Breaches 'Inches' Under Researcher Off Cape Cod

Video has emerged showing the dramatic moment when a great white shark got up close and personal with a marine expedition boat off the Cape Cod coast.

The footage shared on Facebook and YouTube shows the nine-foot-long fish breach just below the research vessel of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.

Senior biologist with the Massachusetts division of marine fisheries, Greg Skomal, shouted "Jesus Christ!" when the fish got just below the vessel's pulpit where the researchers stood.

The shark then lifted part of its body out of the water while someone behind Skomal is left shocked at how close the fish got to them, by shouting "inches, inches, Greg."

The conservancy tags and tracks great whites on the Atlantic coast and in Cape Cod Bay and at the time of the incident on November 11, had been gathering underwater GoPro footage of the shark off Nauset Beach. The shark was later tagged.

In a statement posted with the video, the conservancy said it had heard many reports of breaching white sharks from fishermen and boaters.

"While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they can occur. White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of following safety tips and always staying vigilant when in or on the water," the statement said.

It was not Skomal's first close encounter with such a fish. In July last year, he saw a shark up close after it jumped out of the water and towards the metal walkway. The conservancy also released video of that incident in which Skomal is heard saying: "It came right up and opened its mouth right at my feet!"

John Chisholm, from the Massachusetts division of marine fisheries, told the Boston Globe that while most species of shark head south after summer, great whites stick around until December on the hunt for seals and other prey.

Researchers tagged and attached tracking devices to 50 of the apex predators since July, he added.

Meanwhile, shark experts have been busy off the East Coast since last weekend as they try to track eight North Atlantic great whites that had been detected between Nantucket and Florida.

The marine conservation nonprofit OCEARCH tagged the fish whose movements they have been studying for years. Their research has shown that the Atlantic's continental shelf waters around Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas, is where the sharks head to during winter.

Last week, OCEARCH tracked a 533-pound great white shark known as Cabot which was entering Albemarle Sound—a large estuary on the coast of North Carolina.

Great white shark
A Great White Shark swims off the shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in this illustrative image. Footage has emerged of one of the species getting close to a boat operated by the state's shark expert. Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images
9-Foot Great White Shark Breaches 'Inches' Under Researcher Off Cape Cod | U.S.