Great White Shark Spotted Off … North Carolina?

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(CNN, By Rick Martin) — Matt Garrett of Boston, Massachusetts, and a group of friends decided to go fishing off the coast of North Carolina over the Thanksgiving weekend and things were going swimmingly.

“It was our second time fishing. We went fishing the day before,” Garrett said, adding that he intended to enjoy a day of leisure. “I brought my golf clubs and fishing rods,” he said.

But as they navigated about 25 miles off Wrightsville Beach, something fishy happened.

“Everything was biting (at first), then all of a sudden nothing was biting at all. We knew something was up,” he said.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.”

A great white shark.

Garrett said, “It was all amazement, seeing such a large living creature. It also doesn’t seem real. It was very surreal!”

The shark T-boned the boat, turned around and slapped the boat with its tail, Garrett said.

Capturing it all on his iPhone 4S, Garrett said, “It didn’t sink in until later that this was so significant,” he said.

Paul Barrington of the NC Aquarium confirmed to CNN affiliate WECT that it was indeed a great white shark, a rarity for North Carolina waters, but not unheard of.

Barrington told WECT the shark was likely just being nosey. Garrett figured as much. “He nudged us with his nose and turned around and slapped the boat with his tail,” he told the station.

Asked if he ever got out golfing, Garrett said, “I got out for nine holes and I assure you it wasn’t nearly as exciting.”