NBC -- A group of fishermen caught and tagged a Great White shark just miles from the Massachusetts shore over the weekend.
The crew of the "Sweet Dream III," out of Gloucester, was about 25 miles off the coast of Peggoty Beach in Scituate when they reeled in what they thought was a big tuna.
"When we brought it aboard, it kind of took us a second to sit there and say 'Holy crap, we caught a Great White. This is really cool,'" said Eric Sweet, who helped catch the shark.
The 7-foot Great White was a baby shark feeding on the mackerel the fishermen had been using for bait.
The news of a shark sighting was not exactly what swimmers in Scituate wanted to hear after spending the day at the beach.
"That's very comforting. Usually the life guards come around when they've spotted any kind of shark, so I'm surprised. I mean, it's a great white that has a history of being a man-eater I guess," said Laura Winn.
The catch comes less than a year after several shark sightings in Chatham forced beaches to close last summer.
"We have one year, one summer of hard core data under our belts. So for me to make any kind of predictions as to what could happen this year, it's really hard," said Dr. Greg Komal, a shark expert.
After fighting the shark for 15 minutes, the fishermen pulled it in and tagged it so researchers can follow its migration pattern and learn whatever they can about the shark.
Crew members said coming face-to-face with the animal was a dream come true.
"I will never forget it. That's for sure...ultimately it was just really cool and fascinating," said Sweet.
Experts said the sharks normally feed on seals, so swimmers are advised to steer clear of seals in the water.