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Great White Shark Spotted off Florida's Coast? Watch This!

1:28 PM, Jun 30, 2011   |    comments
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The sighting lasted for only a few seconds in the murky green waters off Sebastian Inlet, but for one Florida Tech marine biologist, the image appears to fit the profile of a great white shark.

A scuba diver recorded the encounter and posted the video online last week.

The video was recorded in about 170 feet below the surface off Sebastian Inlet while the diver was hunting for amberjack with a spear gun, according to a description on the YouTube site where it was uploaded. About three minutes into the video, a shadowy silhouette of a large shark eases briefly toward the diver, then disappears.

Kevin Johnson, an assistant professor of biological oceanography at Florida Tech in Melbourne, also viewed the video and noticed several similarities between the lone shark and much feared great white.

"As far as the shark in the video, there are a number of features consistent with that of a great white," Johnson said.

"It's definitely not a tiger shark. The eyes are a little bit larger, the gill slips are pretty long. We don't have a lot of reported sightings here but I suspect they're more than we think out there."

Great white can grow to more than 15 feet in length while weighing more than 1,500 pounds. They can also swim in excess of 40 mph, according to OceanLink, an educational website detailing ocean biology.

Chantal Companion, a scuba diver and worker at Sebastian Dive Shop in Indian River County also viewed the video and said it would not discourage her from getting back in the ocean. The has been making the rounds in the scuba diving community.

"A friend of mine posted the video on Facebook. I though it was pretty awesome," Companion said.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that my dive knife isn't going to do anything in that situation. I can't kill a great white."

 

 

WTSP, Florida Today

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