Tourists on a whale-watching expedition in St. Andrews, N.B., experienced a rare sighting when a great white shark appeared near their boat earlier this week.

People aboard the boat scrambled to shoot video and take photos of the rare shark when it was spotted only about two kilometres from the harbour. A shark biologist confirmed it was indeed the fabled shark.

Tour operator Nick Hawkins said everyone aboard was impressed with the animal’s size.

“We found the dorsal fin at the surface, just kind of cruising along gently, and we were able to pull up right alongside a look down on him,” he told CTV Atlantic.

Though many great white sharks have been spotted in the Bay of Fundy, biologists say this may be the first time anyone has seen one this close to the harbour.