Shark sightings in Sebastian, Florida – home of the world-famous surfing grounds of the Sebastian Inlet – are not uncommon, but usually include bull sharks, hammerheads, nurse sharks, spinner sharks or the like. Granted, a bull or hammerhead will ruin your day if you have an unlucky encounter, but they’re not the “king of the jungle,” the great white!
I grew up in this area of Florida and can’t recall any sightings of great white sharks – until now. And what a sighting! You have GOT to watch this video.
From the very beginning of the clip, this diver takes you into his world 170 feet deep under the Atlantic waters off Sebastian. These waters are off Indian River County, just north of Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, south of Brevard County and Melbourne/Palm Bay.
The diver has a speargun and is shooting for jacks – recording everything on video thanks to a camera mounted near the hilt of the gun. The jacks make for a difficult target, and by the 2:40 mark he’s shot twice and missed:
And then, at the 3:00 mark, he faces the ominous figure of the fearsome great white. Do you see that black spot to the right of the screen? That is the great white shark swimming straight toward him!
Go ahead and watch the video to see the rest of the action. The shark action begins at the 3:00 mark, but I’d recommend watching the whole suspenseful clip:
Man, the Atlantic Ocean would have had a little bit more liquid in it if that had been me face to face with agreat white! Gotta hand it to this diver for not freaking out. He held it together and didn’t do anything stupid, like chase the shark or incite it. He also didn’t race towards the surface, creating a disturbance or possibly getting the bends. He just allowed the shark to swim away from him and didn’t make any rash decisions.
And in the end, the great white was harmless in this situation. He was probably just curious about who this dude was and gave him a look see, then went on his way elsewhere. Though the waters off Indian River County have been home to a couple fatalities in its history, including a horrific attack on a school boy in the late ’90s, it is generally considered a non-lethal place to swim, fish and dive.
The first step in protecting yourself from sharks is to respect their territory. Kudos to this diver for doing so and bringing back such awesome footage.
But until now, most folks have not considered these waters the “territory” of the great white. Guess it’s time to update our thinking!