Great White Encounter

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Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 11:14am

Diver comes face-to-face with great white shark off Florida coast.

When four divers launched from the boat dock at Florida's Fort Pierce Inlet, they were looking to catch a big fish, but they had no idea that great white shark might have been looking to catch them.

Eros Morales of Palm Bay dived in Saturday morning for a spear fishing tournament.

That's when he saw the swimming predator, which was about 12 feet long.

Morales began swimming backward with his spear pointed at the shark.

"When I jumped in, the shark was maybe about 15 feet away, just watching me, swimming towards me, watching me," said Morales.

The boat's captain, Steve Maldonado, said the great white circled the boat several times, but ignored the fish they threw in.

"You see this dorsal fin pop up behind Eros," said Maldonado. "Eros was almost already in the boat and then you could see the fin."

He believes the shark was curious about the human.

"His intent, to me, was the bigger prey," said Maldonado.

Although the Morales recorded video of the encounter, Maldonado said he wishes they had done something a bit differently to ensure the safety of future divers.

"I kind of worry that if this particular shark encounters another diver, maybe it won't be as passive. I wish we had poked it so it would have learned that this potential prey can bite back," said Maldonado.

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