Capsized sailors ‘circled by 10ft shark’ in deadly storm rescued by heroic crew

Heroic airmen saved eight people from the jaws of a 10 feet-long shark circling them in the water after their boat flipped in a storm.

Service members from MacDill Air Force Base spotted the huge bull shark stalking the troubled boat whilst they searched the Tampa Bay waters for sailors needing help amongst the powerful weather.

But just 15 minutes after spotting the doomed individuals struggling to stay afloat as the beast swam closer, the brave rescuers had pulled all eight of them out of the water.

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One of the team, Airmen 1st Class Samari Rivera-Rodriguez, explained: “It was really rough out.

“The waves were so tall it was hard to see where they were. The waves just kept coming up and down.

“When it’s rough like that something as simple as holding the boat in one place is extremely difficult. But the airmen killed it.”

Whilst the military base’s press office added: “Within a few moments of their sweep, the two airmen locked eyes on a distant pontoon boat.

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“The boat stood out to them for two reasons; first, it was the only boat on the water.

“Second, it was flipped completely upside down."

The courageous soldiers then immediately rang for backup after the spotted the huge shark swimming alongside them.

Staff Sergeant William Au described how the victims were “terrified” and “clinging on to the wreckage” before the miraculous rescue operation.

He also praised the team’s actions as a glowing reflection of their impressive abilities.

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Au said: “My biggest takeaway after getting everyone home safe was how well the marine patrol airmen did.

“These are young airmen, barely 20 years old.

“Just watching them do their tasks while coordinating with other agencies, while simultaneously caring for the victims, showed how competent and well-trained they are."


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