Surf campers spot shark in Deal, off Jersey Shore

Surfers and swimmers at the Jersey Shore had a close encounter of the "shark" kind last week. (7/7/14)

DEAL - Surfers and swimmers at the Jersey Shore had a close encounter of the "shark" kind last week.

Michael Martin was in the water at Phillips Avenue Beach Thursday afternoon teaching kids with the Summa Love Surf Camp how to catch a wave, when a shark came about 25 feet from him. "You just saw the black fin come out of the water, the dorsal fin, it came right out," he says.

Louis Handwerker, who was paddling out when counselors started shouting for everyone to come in, says he wasn't too surprised since he's been hearing about recent sightings.

MORE: Animals in the News

"I just got the kids out of the water immediately," says Summa Love owner Bryan Zinski. "Any precautionary steps we can take to avoid an encounter with a shark you know we took it."

Witnesses say they suspect it was a bull shark, which experts say can be aggressive. It was about 7 feet long, stout and in shallow water, which is typical of the species.  

Lifeguards stood on jetties until it swam away. Swimmers were allowed back in the water 45 minutes later.

There have also been reports of shark sightings recently off Long Beach Island, Long Branch and Seaside Heights, but none of them were as close to shore as this one.

Most people say they won't let those sightings keep them from swimming. The last shark attack in New Jersey was off Long Beach Island in 2006.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

advertisement | advertise on News 12