A Florida spearfisherman has recounted his recent encounter with a great white shark, during which he was able to film the 12-foot-long predator after it inadvertently snuck up behind him.
Zack Spurlock was fishing off the Florida coast along with his daughter, Ali, and restauranteur Joe Penovich when the trio encountered the shark, according to the Express. While the others remained in the boat, Spurlock entered the water, observing the great white swimming below him. Keeping his cool, Spurlock decided to head to the boat above, not to get out of the water, but to retrieve a camera so he could film his encounter with the great white.
“I said: ‘Joe, throw me the GoPro. There’s a great white on bottom,'” Spurlock recalled.
When Penovich asked if he was sure it was a good idea to approach the shark, Spurlock replied in the affirmative, describing the great white as “mellow.” Moments later, however, Spurlock was startled by Penovich’s daughter as she shrieked, “He’s behind you!” As Florida Today notes, Spurlock swung around to see the white shark a mere 10 feet behind him.
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) May 8, 2015
Luckily for Spurlock, the great white wasn’t interested in bothering him, and the diver eventually lost sight of the shark as it moved away from the site of their encounter. Spurlock was diving in roughly 90 feet of water when he was approached by the shark, at a site 25 miles southeast of Port Canaveral. He allowed that the quality of the footage could have been better had he not been encumbered by the gun, pole spear, and bag full of lionfish fins that he was carrying at the time.
“I would have never seen the shark behind if it wasn’t for my friends yelling at me to turn around!,” he recalled in the video’s description. “The water was crystal clear for here so its amazing to me how incredible these large creatures are at staying in your blind spot.”
Great whites are no strangers to the east coast, and Florida residents encounter the predators every year. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, sharks tagged by Ocearch have been tracked moving to the region from as far away as Cape Cod, though at this time of the year, many of the great whites have traveled north.
Spurlock noted that he was in a “heightened awareness” mode during the encounter, saying he was neither relaxed nor calm. The diver expressed his hopes that his close encounter with the great white will remain a once-in-a-lifetime experience, explaining that he’s “not one of those guys that wants to whisper to sharks and grab onto their fins.”
[Image: Zack Spurlock via Florida Today]