CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — A local paramedic had quite the fish tale to tell after reeling in a massive hammerhead shark at a popular North Carolina beach.
Blake Cochran told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that he loves being a paramedic in Caldwell County, but his passion is fishing along the North Carolina coast.
Cochran shared with Channel 9 a video of him reeling in a 13-foot hammerhead shark on North Topsail Beach.
“I knew it was something big,” Cochran said. “The biggest shark I’ve caught up to this point was like 4 feet, and this one, when I pulled it in, it was insane.”
Cochran said he and some friends fish once a month along the North Carolina coast, where they try to catch sharks or red drums. He showed Dave the large bait he uses and the kayak he paddles to take it 400 yards offshore.
On the day he hooked the hammerhead, there was a storm just off the coast.
“It’s almost like catfishing from the beach,” Cochran said. “It’s kind of like what it is. You sit and wait after you take your bait out, and all of a sudden that reel started screaming. It was like being hooked to a car.”
Cochran said he knew when he saw the dorsal fin that it was a hammerhead. The shark measured 13 feet, 6 inches long, and was estimated to weigh between 500-700 pounds.
The paramedic posed for a quick photo and then the group worked quickly to get the huge fish back into the ocean.
“He was pretty heavy,” Cochran told Channel 9. “It takes two to three people. You wade out to your neck and revive them and then let them go.”
With shark attacks making news during the summer months, Dave asked Cochran his thoughts about going in the water and what he would say to other swimmers.
“When we caught that one, a lot of folks came up and said, ‘Oh my God, I’m not gonna let my kids swim here,’” he said. “There’s sharks in the water. It’s the ocean, it’s their home. They’re not gonna bother you unless you bother them.”
(WATCH BELOW: Girl’s close encounter with shark at North Myrtle Beach caught on camera)
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