Teens rescued from intracoastal say they spotted 3 sharks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two teenage girls say they spotted not one but three sharks Thursday afternoon in the intracoastal waterway while kayaking near the Wonderwood Bridge.

Coast Guard crews were able to reach them and guide their boat in off the water. But they could not confirm what the girls saw were actually sharks. Brandon Basino with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission research institute says it's very possible the middle schoolers did in fact spot sharks.

Chloe Ball and Kaylia Davis' summer adventure turned out to be way more than they bargained for.

"I was sitting under the bridge then a shark came in," said Davis. "I thought it was a dolphin at first but I saw its fin. And I'm like that's a shark!"

Davis says she quickly yelled out to Ball who was swimming nearby.

"It opened its mouth like it was going to bite me and I hurried back up on top of the thing (boat)," said Davis.

She says two more sharks swam along and formed a circle. The 8th grader was able to call 911 once back on the boat and says about 20 minutes later the coast guard came to their rescue.

With no photos, or injuries the girls have no solid proof of what they claim to have seen. But Basino explains bull sharks and blacktip sharks tend to swim miles up river and given the bridges close proximity to the Atlantic and St. Johns River their too close encounter could have been the real thing.

"I'm not going back," said Davis. "They should put a sign out that there's sharks around here."

"I'm just going to go swimming in my pool," said Ball.

If you would like to share photos or sighting with FWC you can call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.


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