Caught on camera: Berks family encounters shark on vacation

A shark encounter caught on camera provided thrills for a Berks County family while they were on vacation this week.

A shark encounter provided thrills for a Sinking Spring family while they were vacationing in Ocean City, Maryland, this week.

Jim Stevens told 69 News that he and family members were crabbing along the bay around 7 p.m. Thursday when a hammerhead shark swam toward their pier.

"We saw a black fin and we're like, 'Oh my goodness, that's a shark, and it's getting closer," Stevens recalled.

In awe, the family watched the eight-foot, 300-pound hammerhead for nearly an hour.

"To see it that close was just spectacular," he said. "We knew nothing was going to happen to us, so that's what made the excitement all the more."

But the shark appeared a bit distressed, prompting Stevens to call the Natural Resources police.

"I thought, 'Aw man, poor thing is dying,'" Stevens said.

But that wasn't the case, according to experts.

The Natural Resources police responded and explained that the shark was pregnant. Sightings had been reported multiple times Wednesday and Thursday in both the bay and ocean.

Candy Thomson, an NR spokeswoman, told 69 News that experts aren't quite sure what brought the shark so close to shore. She said that hammerheads are typically docile sharks.

She said the shark's disorientation was attributed to the pregnancy and the human contact.

Several people reported seeing the shark give birth Friday morning, but Thomson could not confirm that.