Caught on Camera: Shark Swims Alongside Whale-Watching Boat

Captain Larry Hartmann estimated the creature to be 8 to 10 feet.

A Southern California boat captain said a group of prospective whale watchers got the bait-and-switch when what he said was a great white shark was caught on camera Wednesday swimming alongside them.

Captain Larry Hartmann said he was at the helm Wednesday of the Ocean Explorer, a whale-watching expedition off Laguna Beach, when a crewmate, spotted the big fish, which he estimated to be up to 10 feet long.

Hartmann said he steered toward the animal so the 90 passengers on the boat could take a look, and gave his camera to Curran to get footage of it.

"It was pretty quiet," Hartmann said. "It was so off-the-charts that people were speechless."

As the boat cruised, the shark followed, Hartmann said.

Hartmann said while he’s seen sharks off the coast before, this time was different.

"The video is OK, but to be there watching the shark in harmony with nature was incredible," Hartmann said. "It just had this peacefulness around the boat and this curiosity."

After about 15 minutes, Hartmann cruised away, leaving the shark behind.

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