"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Well, this was not a boat accident! And it wasn't any propeller; and it wasn't any coral reef; and it wasn't Jack the Ripper! It was a shark. "
"Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark." (sings) "Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies..."
"You yell 'barracuda', everybody says, 'Huh? What?' You yell 'shark', we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."
— Mayor Vaughn
"Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. Wed just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes.
Didnt see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin from the dorsal to the tail. What we didnt know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didnt even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin and hollerin and sometimes that shark he go away but sometimes he wouldnt go away.
Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is hes got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a dolls eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesnt even seem to be livin til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin and your hollerin those sharks come in and they rip you to pieces.
You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I dont know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Bosons mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, hed been bitten in half below the waist.
At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin for my turn. Ill never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.
Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
"What day is it?"
"It's Wednesday. No, it's Tuesday, I think."
"The tide is with us."
"I used to hate the water."
"I can't imagine why."
—Brody and Hooper (last lines)