A group of four fisherman offshore near Amelia Island, Florida were startled when a 14-foot great white shark showed up next to their boat.
Captain Tony Peeples’ boat was around 6-miles north of the jetties off the coast of Fernandina Beach when the great white approached March 10.
Peeples said he was leaning over the rails of his 25-foot Carolina skiff when one of the anglers on board said he hooked a shark.
“I just got through bending over on that side of the boat releasing a fish,” Peeples told Action News Jax. “I kind of stood up and looked and said, no it ain’t . . . yeah it is.”
The shark took the opportunity to munch on one angler’s catch, a 50-pound drum fish, and quickly consumed half of the fish.
When it came back for the other half, it ended up hooked on the fishing line for around 20 seconds before breaking the line.
“The guy that had him on the rod . . . the look on his face when he saw a great white shark, it was just like awe,” Peeples said. “His eyes were all lit up. Seeing a great white shark is a once in a lifetime [thing] for most.
“It’s kind of a humbling experience when you look down and see something that big 3 feet from you,” he added.
Peeples, owner of Southern Style Charters, said he has seen 5 or 6 great whites, but this was the closest he has been to one.
This is not the first great white shark spotted in the area.
In August of 2017, diver Stacey Tucker spotted one on a scuba diving trip.
The Arizona resident had flown to Jupiter, Florida to dive with sharks. Her group had just finished their first dive and were headed to the sunken tanker ship Esso Bonaire III.
The Bonaire rests 90 feet under the surface and is known to host both nurse and lemon sharks.
As Tucker was filming several lemon sharks, a fellow diver alerted her to the great white, which was about 15 feet away from the group.
She said the shark was passive and she did not feel threatened and was in awe of its appearance.
A white was filmed 3 miles off the coast of Juno Beach January 1.
Divers with the Calypso Dive Charter were visiting a site known as the Lemon Drop when the 12 to 14-foot shark appeared.
The shark, which scared away all the other sharks in the area, circled the group three times before leaving.
After a surface interval, the divers returned to the bottom and saw 10 lemon sharks which indicated to the divers that the great white was gone.
On December 28, a 12-foot white shark took a bite of a fisherman’s snapper.
The group was 25 miles of Port Canaveral when the shark took the snack.
Great whites have been known to swim up the coast of the Eastern United States and have a birthing nursery off the coast of New York.
The shark tracking group OCEARCH confirmed the nursery’s presence in 2016 when they tagged nine great white pups.