Florida Scuba Divers Have Close Encounter With Great White Shark Near Palm Beach

Scuba divers in Palm Beach, Florida, had a detailed encounter with a deep-sea predator on Tuesday when a fantastic white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) leisurely glided previous the group.

The second was captured on digital camera by diver Jim Cocci from Viera, Florida, in a minute-long clip posted to each social media and his private wildlife pictures web site.

“Only need two words to describe diving West Palm with Walker’s Dive Charters today: “Great White” !” Cocci mentioned on Facebook.

The sighting happened at Breakers Reef within the Palm Beach space, a well-liked diving website 70 miles north of Miami Beach.

“Being that close to the apex predator was exhilarating! She was a thing of beauty, yet commanding respect,” Cocci informed Newsweek.

“I felt no apprehension and I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

Cocci mentioned it was his first encounter with a fantastic white in his 52 plus years as a diving teacher and in a Facebook replace, on Friday, he revealed the shark had been named after his spouse Colleen.

“Our “new” shark has been entered into the database and is named “Colleen” after my loving wife, very best friend and greatest dive buddy – ever! Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey!!” he wrote.

See posts, images and extra on Facebook.

Captain Bill Walker of Walker’s Dive Charters informed USA Today it was the primary time a fantastic white shark had been sighted throughout one of many firm’s outings in its 27-year historical past. Every one of many 11 folks concerned in Tuesday’s dive managed to steal a take a look at the shark because it swam previous.

Another diver, Margaux Frankel, mentioned: “Today all of my dreams came true and I got to hang out on the reef with a Great White Shark!!! Best Day ever!!”

See posts, images and extra on Facebook.

According to the Walker’s Dive Charters, the shark was 20 ft tip-to-tip—which is roughly thrice so long as Michael Jordan is tall.

It can be on the bigger finish for the species. While nice white sharks are identified to achieve sizes of as much as 20 ft, the common dimension for an grownup nice white is 11 to 13 ft for males and 15 to 16 ft for females. According to reviews, this specific particular person might have been a pregnant feminine.

An absence of a visual monitoring gadget on the dorsal fin suggests it isn’t one of many North Atlantic sharks being tracked by ocean analysis group OCEARCH, which makes use of tags to keep watch over the actions and conduct of particular person sharks for conservation functions.

The group’s real-time shark tracker permits scientists to watch the situation of tagged sharks by “pinging” after they break the floor. Differences in particular person conduct imply that some sharks seem extra typically and are simpler to trace than others.

Recently, the tracker has proven robust exercise across the Carolinas, which overlook a well-liked winter breeding floor (known as Northwest Atlantic Shared Foraging Area, or NAFRA). There can be a bunch gathering round Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. According to OCEARCH, nice whites could be noticed within the Gulf for six months out of the 12 months.

Great white shark, Guadalupe Island
Divers bought near a big nice white shark in Breakers Reef, Florida. Pictured: A white shark off the coast of Guadalupe Island on September 15, 2016.
Dave J Hogan/Getty

While they’ve garnered a fearful repute—and are chargeable for extra shark assaults than some other species—nice whites have rather a lot to concern from us. The IUCN Red List lists them as weak. One of the most important threats at the moment dealing with the species is fishing, both by unlawful looking or as bycatch. According to Smithsonian Ocean, some populations have seen numbers fall greater than 70 p.c.

The under graph, created by Statista, reveals the variety of unprovoked shark assaults by nation reported between 1580 and June 2019.

Shark Attacks Global Statista
Number of unprovoked shark assaults around the globe.

The article has been up to date to incorporate feedback from Jim Cocci and a Facebook replace from February 14, 2020.

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