Malea tribble and Gabriel Barajas are followed by a shark.
Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis

Watch: Paddleboarders Trailed by Hammerhead Shark on Ocean Crossing

Not our greatest fear when in open ocean or anything.

Paddleboarding 80 miles across open ocean is scary enough, but for two paddleboarders, a worse fear came true: Malea Tribble and Gabriel Barajas were being trailed by a hammerhead shark in the middle of the ocean.

The two were participating in the annual Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis, which takes participants from Bimini, Bahamas, to the Florida coast—a route of 80 miles—on a paddleboard.

A recent video caught a terrifying moment when a hammerhead fin can be seen close by—and following—Tribble, a three-time participant in the event. Tribble is seen paddling toward a support boat (thankfully close by). And while we viewers feel relief, it's not long before we realize her relay partner, Barajas, is still out by the shark.

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"I didn't have time to allow myself to be scared," Tribble said in a Facebook post. "Even an encounter as unique as mine would not deter me from competing in The Crossing again. This event is about being "Bold in the Face of Fear"—mother nature made that a reality for me in a way I never imagined. I faced a huge fear of mine, and came out stronger than I ever thought I would be, and in reality it was not as scary as I anticipated."

In the video, a spectator can be heard saying that the shark was right underneath Tribble's board. Thankfully, Tribble made it safely to the support boat, and Barajas took over.

But the sea creature did not let up.

It moved its pursuit over to Barajas' paddleboard. Barajas told The Hill, "It was all over us."

Barajas only made it to 15 yards from the boat before the hammerhead began stalking him. The shark circled the board while Barajas sat and watched. Those watching from the boat kept in close contact, yelling warnings. Finally, the shark lost interest and swam away.

Barajas told The Hill, "It just so happened that out in the middle of the gulf stream, 40 miles off the coast of Bimini, we got new fundraising help from a five-foot hammerhead shark." Barajas is glad to take the assist, even if it was a close encounter. The race itself is already tough, but Barajas told The Hill that it was much harder this year due to rough seas and storms. The appearance of a persistent shark didn't help things much, either.

"This was 16 hours. Although, we had to pick up and move because of a storm that was off the coast of Florida," Barajas said.

The close call isn't enough for either paddler to quit the event, though. Both plan to participate next year because raising money and awareness for cystic fibrosis is so important to both.

"I want everyone to help me in the fight against cystic fibrosis. Be brave. Make a splash. And inspire every breath," he said.

Travis Suit, founder and executive director of the Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis event, discussed the situation: "We are grateful Malea was not harmed and so proud of the calm and disciplined response the Tribble's had during the situation as paddle mentors in this event, providing a great example of how to handle close encounters like this. We are visitors when we are in the ocean, it's really their home, so it's to be expected."

Hammerhead sharks can grow up to 20 feet and weigh more than 500 pounds. They are the sixth most dangerous shark, with only 18 attacks on humans since 1900.

READ MORE: 14-Foot Hammerhead Shark Big Enough to Be a World Record