The thrill of seeing a great white shark prowling a shipwreck turned terrifying for a Virginia man when he realized the shark was coming straight at him.
David Scherrer of Virginia Beach recorded the moment, which he says happened while he was spearfishing about 20 miles off the coast.
It shows the cunning shark give the appearance of passing him, then swiftly turn. It then comes straight at Scherrer, and gets within a foot or two of his speargun before turning at the last second.
Scherrer keeps the tip of his speargun pointed at the shark, clearly afraid it might attack.
“Dove down to 50’, saw this white, thought it was cool at first. Then I started swimming up, (it) started chasing me, and wasn’t so cool anymore,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Two things going through my mind as it came at me. 1. Hold your ground/don’t panic. 2. Where do I stab this thing.”
Scherrer says his heart was racing as he witnessed a “dream and nightmare at the same time.”
It happened Dec. 16 off the northern leg of the Outer Banks, and the shark was about 10 feet long, he told the Virginian Pilot.
“Normally when that happens, things end a bit more dramatically,” Scherrer told the news outlet.
Winter is when great white sharks migrate down the East Coast to warmer water off the tip of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, experts say. Shipwrecks off the Outer Banks are a popular spot to stop on their journey and feed. Some have been tracked as far as Nova Scotia to the mouth of the Mississippi River, the shark research agency OCEARCH reports.
Scherrer’s video has gotten more than 330,000 views on Facebook and Instagram, and 1,400 reactions and comments. Those include some who noted the shark may have considered Scherrer an intruder.
“Imagine that, you strolling around the shark’s home and it gets curious and wants to see what your doing there… Funny how that works,” Sean Fallon wrote on Facebook.
Others were less sympathetic to the predator, and wondered why Scherrer didn’t pull the trigger in those final seconds.
“If it opens its mouth, I shoot,” he wrote on Instagram.
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