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Terrifying moment shark starts stalking paddleboarders doing charity race from Bahamas to Florida

Amelia Jones

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| Last updated 

Terrifying moment shark starts stalking paddleboarders doing charity race from Bahamas to Florida

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis

The horrifying moment a hammerhead shark stalked unaware paddleboarders taking part in a gruelling charity race has been caught on camera.

Malea Tribble from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was taking part in the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis event, where participants travel 80 miles from the Bahamas to Florida on a paddleboard to raise money, when the terrifying encounter occurred.

Malea was paddling alongside her board partner, Gabe Barajas, blissfully unaware of the predator beneath them.

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The video captures the moment her husband and his relay partner, Ricky, spot a dark shape and fin protruding from the water from the safety of the support boat.

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Malea's husband was thankfully able to guide her to safety but the shark then began circling Barajas.

She claims she didn't have time to allow herself to feel scared and felt oddly calm.

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Malea told WPBF that she 'saw my husband’s face drop, and I saw him tell the captain to shut off the engine and he then guided me to the boat. As soon as he did that, I knew it was a shark'.

Luckily, Barajas also made it to safety.

The epic but apparently perilous 80-mile voyage is an annual charity event to raise awareness for those with cystic fibrosis and their families.

The charity's motto - 'bold in the face of fear' - has never been more relevant due to both the severe weather conditions and the shark's unexpected visit.

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Malea was unaware of the shark tailing her board. Credit: Instagram/@crossingforcf
Malea was unaware of the shark tailing her board. Credit: Instagram/@crossingforcf

They explained on Instagram that they were 'surprised by a curious and friendly visitor while paddling' when they were almost halfway across the Gulf Stream and out of sight of land.

The post was captioned: "Ricky was able to calmly give his wife direction on manoeuvring the situation to get safely to the boat without incident."

“It just so happened that out in the middle of the gulf stream, 40 miles off the coast of Bimini, we got new fundraising help from a five-foot hammerhead shark,” Barajas explained.

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“It was all over us. It was definitely behind her, and from the looks of it, its head had to have been underneath her board."

Founder and Executive Director of The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis event, Travis Suit, reflected on the event and expressed that he felt 'proud of the calm and disciplined response' of the team.

"We are visitors when we are in the ocean," he said. "It’s really their home, so it’s to be expected.”

The pair were travelling 80 miles from the Bahamas to Florida on a paddleboard to raise money. Credit: Instagram/@crossingforcf
The pair were travelling 80 miles from the Bahamas to Florida on a paddleboard to raise money. Credit: Instagram/@crossingforcf
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According to the International Shark Attack File there have been 16 recorded incidents between humans and hammerhead sharks and zero recorded deaths since 1900.

While the apex predator has stolen the limelight, Barajas doesn't want the close encounter to eclipse the reasons they were paddling in the first place.

“I want everyone to help me in the fight against cystic fibrosis. Be brave. Make a splash. And inspire every breath,” he said.

Money is still being raised for Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, which is aiming to reach its $1,000,000 fundraising goal after the 25 June race.

Topics: News, Animals, Charity, Shark, US News

Amelia Jones
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