A pack of at least seven sharks began circling near three terrified women on an inflatable lilo in waters off a Florida beach.
The close-encounter with the hammerhead sharks took place at Pensacola beach, on the Florida-Alabama border, and was caught on camera by a person in a nearby boat.
The footage shows the moment a man shouts ‘shark’ after spotting a fin in the water a few meters away.
Then, moments later, more shark fins begin appearing and before long there are several sharks surrounding the boat.
But the marine predators also came within touching distance of a group of three women who were relaxing on a yellow float and minding their own business when the sharks appeared.
Lacey Faciane, Casie Thompson and Qyuston Eubanks began screaming with a mixture of excitement and fear as the sharks skimmed past the lilo they were sat on, WALA reports.
‘I was like “Lord protect us! If it’s time for us to go, it’s time for us to go. Just protect us”, Eubanks told the outlet.
Her friend, Facine, added: ‘They were right up on us.
‘They were right up on the shore. I mean we were in at least knee, waist-deep water so they were right up on shore.’
The women estimated that some of the sharks were up to eight feet in length and said the sharks only circled around the raft before swimming out to deeper waters.
After allowing the initial shock of the encounter to sink in, Faciane added that the experience was an ‘awesome’ once in a lifetime moment.
She said: ‘Usually you have to pay for that and we didn’t have to pay for that. So, yes, it was an awesome experience.’
‘It’s very rare to have a group of hammerheads just swim by you so it’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing’, Thompson added.
According to the Florida Museum hammerhead sharks have been responsible for at least 16 unprovoked attacks on humans around the world.
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