It was a close encounter with a great white shark and it was “just awesome.”
It happened Sunday when a group of people were spearfishing Sunday about three miles offshore from Jupiter.
While the experience might be frightening or hair-raising for some, Tommy Allore of Stuart, said he and those with him were exhilarated.
“I think everyone was just excited,” he said. “We knew how special that moment was. It’s not common to see them, especially out of a cage, underwater. I knew I wanted to get down there and get a photo with it. Luckily, it stayed around long enough to capture that.”
Allore’s GoPro camera video shows the moment his friend got close to the great white as it looped around a ship wreck and a cobia.
“I probably got about 20 feet away. It was just awesome. Making eye contact with a great white is just a unique situation. It was just beautiful,” he said.
Allore estimates the shark was between 10 to 13 feet.
Surprisingly, Allore, his wife and their friends were calm the entire time.
“There’s a level of respect. You understand the power of the animal, but it wasn’t a fear,” he said. “It was more adrenaline. The fact that we’re sighting is a good sign for our marine ecosystem.”
If you encounter a great white shark, Allore said to avoid splashing and to stay calm.
“That can definitely attract a shark and that might lure them in just to check you out,” he said. “Even then, once they realize what you are, they are not really interested. We are far more harmful to sharks than sharks are to us. They need to be respected.”
Allore said a Massachusetts-based shark research organization told him the great white’s name is “Salty the Shark.”
It was tagged and identified in Cape Cod back in 2012.
WPEC-CBS12 is the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s news partner.