'Terrifying:' N.B. woman recounts close encounter with great white shark

A New Brunswick couple says they got away unscathed after they were followed by a great white shark while canoeing during an otherwise-tranquil June day.

Pat Barker says she and her husband were paddling through Passamaquoddy Bay toward Deer Island a couple of weeks ago when a dorsal fin pulled up alongside their 24-foot-long canoe.

Barker says they thought it was a porpoise at first, but due to the creature's colour and size, dark grey with a white underside and around 15 feet long, they quickly surmised it was likely a great white shark.

As the couple hurried back to shore, Barker says the predator dipped under the boat, circled around the back, and followed them for some length of time.

Chris Fischer, founding chairman of leading shark research group Ocearch, says the East Coast is emerging as a popular spot for great whites during their mating season.

While shark attacks are exceedingly rare, Barker says the experience was "terrifying," adding that she won't be heading toward Deer Island again anytime soon.