A Facebook post with photos and video of the shark has been shared 2,600 times

By Caitlin Keating
July 04, 2016 11:15 AM

The last thing beachgoers in North Carolina expected to see on Wednesday was a 12-foot tiger shark being reeled to shore.

Researchers fishing on North Topsail Beach in North Carolina caught the massive shark, tagged it and then dragged it back out into the water.

Eyewitness Laura Harrell posted photos and video of the moment on Facebook which has since been seen over 2 million times.

“Last year I saw a guy fishing off the shore and he caught a 6-foot shark, which I was thought was big,” she told ABC.

On Thursday, Harrell went back on Facebook to relay a message from the fisherman, telling people tagging the sharks does not bring them into the beach area because they put out bait around 300 to 400 yards off shore.

“Only a shark within a 3-mile radius can smell the bait, so they are already there,” the post reads. “There are no laws against shark fishing during the day, but most people do not do it because there are usually aren’t that many out sharks out midday.”

They also stressed that they do this to tag, help research and the conversation of sharks.

On Thursday, lifeguards also spotted two sharks near Conniver Pavilion in New Jersey.