Amazing video of a shark hanging out next to a swimmer at Panama City Beach, Florida has been shared online.
The interesting footage was filmed May 29 from the 28th floor of the Tidewater Resort by Stan Battles.
The videographer said he had been watching the shark dart in and out of seagrass for about 2 hours that morning as it swam figure eights. Things changed once a woman swam directly over the shark.
Battles began filming the swimmer-shark interaction as the shark widened its pattern and swam along the seabed, following the woman’s path.
A couple of minutes later, someone on the beach spotted the shark and alerted the woman. She swam back to shore as the shark continued to cruise the sandy bottom.
There have been suggestions that the estimated 5- to 7-foot shark was a nurse shark, however that is very unlikely.
After watching the video, Tyler Bowling said it could have been a bull shark. Bowling is manager of Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History University of Florida.
“It is not possible to make a positive identification due to the quality of the video. Though it is likely a Carcharhinid species, such as a bull shark,” Bowling said.
This is not the first time a shark has been filmed off the beach.
In 2015 Blake Whitlow and family saw what they thought were a pod of dolphins swimming past a sandbar, but then realized it was a school of sharks.
His wife and he quickly got their children out of the water as the sharks swam to shore feeding in a massive frenzy of white water and splashes.
Whitlow filmed almost a full three minutes of sharks feeding before the splashes ceased and the sea returned to normal.
In Arpil,2019, two friends encountered an estimated 8-foot mako shark at Destin beach about 40 miles to the west of Panama City Beach.
The duo thought they had spotted a dolphin and took their paddleboards out to film and follow the shark as it swam just off the beach.
Another interesting shark encounter occurred off Miami Beach, Florida in 2017.
Drone pilot Kenny Melendez was filming sea life when he spotted a 7-foot tiger shark cruising the shallows. He followed the shark with his drone as it came within around 15 feet of a man wading in waist-deep water around 20 feet from the beach. The shark bypassed the man as it swam down the beach approximately 10 feet next to two oblivious swimmers before continuing its trip down the coast.
While sharks tend to be villainized in the media, they play an important role in the oceans’ food chain and are not out to eat humans. If that were the case, it would be impossible for any person to enter the water.
However, negative encounters do occur. If you see a shark while you are in the water, face the shark and swim away slowly. If the shark charges or attacks, then fight and try to hit the shark’s eyes or gills. Sharks are not used to this and in most cases will leave.