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ISLAMORADA (CBSMiami) –Swimmers enjoying the Florida Keys this weekend had to rush out of the water after a great white shark was spotted nearby.

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An exchange student from Thailand got a lot more than she bargained for when she saw the scary sight.

“Suddenly, I heard a guy say, ‘there’s a shark in the water,'” said the exchange student.

A great white shark approached her group of snorkelers Saturday near Islamorada.  Her host parents from Boca Raton were the first to spot it and grabbed their camera.

“I come out to the side the boat and I didn’t want to yell, because I didn’t want all of the kids to get freaked out. I said, there’s a big shark. And he said yeah, yeah, yeah. we have harks. And I said no, no no, a big shark,” said one of the host parents.

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Christeen Pozniak said everyone got out of the water but she says they didn’t panic. To her, the shark looked like a submarine.

Doctor Stephen Kimura said great white sharks spend winters in the Florida Keys but he says its rare to see one in the water this shallow, even more unusual for it to hang around as long as 30 minutes.

Mesmerized, the snorkelers watched the shark circle their boat.

Now they are sharing this once in a lifetime experience with all of her friends in Thailand.

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“They so surprised about it…  like, they so shocked,” said the exchange student.