Emerald Isle was just named North Carolina's best beach by USAToday, but its image is taking a beating online, after a video surfaced of a 5-foot shark flopping around just feet from the sand.
The 40-second video was posted Tuesday on Facebook by WRAL and is credited to someone named Nellie who said she filmed it at the popular resort town on Bogue Banks Island. It had been viewed nearly 64,000 times in three hours and shared nearly 2,000 times Tuesday.
The shark is first seen about 5 or 6 feet out and appears to be following something parallel to the beach. It stops, struggles to turn around in the shallow water, and then heads back in the other direction. It then goes out to sea.
Understandably, no swimmers are seen splashing in the surf during the video.
More than 500 people had commented on the video Tuesday morning, with reactions ranging from fear of the shark to fear for the shark, which one person said "looked like it was struggling."
"No one is shocked about seeing a shark in the ocean, but when it can snatch your baby up in less than 2 feet of water, it is a bit traumatizing," posted Heather Brown of Yonkers, New York.
"Wow...that's close to home," wrote Linda Brown Simmons on Facebook.
"Something was wrong with the shark for it to come so close to a beach," posted Ben Giordano on Facebook.
"Think I'm passing on swimming at the beach," responded Aly Bragg of Jacksonville, Florida.
"This is scary. He would get me for sure with my hip," wrote Janet Cobb Poole of Elm City, North Carolina.
"Yeah that’s the reason why I don’t go in the ocean," said New York native Steve Lee. "Four years ago, something bumped me and I was holding my son...Never been in the ocean since."
USA Today bravely named Emerald Isle as the best beach in the state, because it "features 12 miles of largely undeveloped shoreline offering stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Inlet."