A group of men fishing off Florida’s Atlantic Coast had a close encounter on Monday with a 14-foot great white shark, in what one called a “humbling experience.”
Capt. Tony Peeples with Southern Style Charters told FOX 30 he was with a group of men off the coast of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island when they came within feet of the shark.
“I just got through bending over on that side of the boat releasing a fish,” Peeples said. “I kind of stood up and looked and said, ‘No, it ain’t … Yeah, it is.’”
In video taken by Peeples showing the encounter posted to Facebook, one of the boaters can be heard saying, “Man, you don’t see that every day!”
The shark then came out from under the boat and ate half of a 50-pound drum in one bite, before trying to go on to eat the other half. The shark then got hooked on one of their lines before it was able to swim away.
“It’s kind of a humbling experience when you look down and see something that big three feet from you,” Peeples told FOX 30, adding that he’s never seen a shark so big in his 30 years as a charter boat captain.
Great white sharks tend to be found in cool, coastal waters throughout the world, according to National Geographic.
One-third to one-half of the 100-plus annual shark bites worldwide are attributable to great whites, according to the magazine.
“However, most of these are not fatal, and new research finds that great whites, who are naturally curious, are ‘sample biting’ then releasing their victims rather than preying on humans,” the magazine explained.
“It’s not a terribly comforting distinction, but it does indicate that humans are not actually on the great white’s menu.”