Chessie, Giant Tiger Shark, Isn’t Alone Off The South Carolina Coast

Chessie, a recently tagged tiger shark of unusual size, has spent the last few weeks revealing her territory to researchers, yet one fisherman’s encounter has proven that she is hardly the only member of her species to call the area home.

Angler George Frazier owns and operates a spearfishing company in Beaufort, South Carolina, according to WITN. Last Wednesday morning (June 3), he was diving roughly 28 miles off the coast when he encountered a tiger shark, estimated to measure roughly 12-feet-long. After climbing back aboard his boat with a grouper, Frazier noticed the shark and was able to film it with a GoPro attached to a gaff pole. The next day, he found several scratches on his propeller, proving to him that the shark took an inquisitive bite at his motor.

The region in which Frazier encountered the tiger shark is home to another animal of the same species, named Chessie by researchers. Last month, the shark made headlines when she was tagged just off Hilton Head, as observers noted her astonishing size. While Chessie is also around 12-feet-long, as the Inquisitr previously reported, she is estimated to weigh roughly 1,200 pounds. Chessie’s size ranks her among the biggest members of her species, and she represents the largest tiger shark ever tagged off the East Coast, as the State reported.

Frazier encountered the shark in the heart of Chessie’s territory, not far from the spot where she was first documented. It is unlikely, however, that the animal he observed was Chessie herself. Researchers affiliated with Ocearch fitted her with a satellite tag that signals each time the shark’s fin breaks the surface. According to the Ocearch website, Chessie spent June 3 further north, off the coast of Bulls Bay and the Santee Coastal Reserve.

While he has seen other sharks in the past, Frazier noted that the one he observed last week was the largest he has yet encountered. Though others may have been frightened, he instead appreciated his few moments with the predator.

“These sharks are beneficial to our marine environment and are beautiful, peaceful creatures that we are privileged to encounter.”

As for Chessie, she continues to signal while roaming the coastline near Charleston. This morning, Chessie entered Bulls Bay, approaching shore and revealing more of the territory inhabited by this unusual tiger shark.

[Photo by Chip Michalove via the State]