Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shark hunter comes face to face with Great White shark

A great white shark has been spotted off the shore of the Garden State.A shark hunter said he came face-to-face with the toothy predator in the Atlantic Ocean, three miles off the coast of Monmouth County."It was a female. It was in very good shape," shark hunter Rob Depietri said.The former marine biologist and two friends were fishing last week in his boat near an artificial reef off the coast."This big dorsal came up the slick, and the tail that came out, I thought at first it was a mako," DiPietri said.The crew struggled to secure a tail rope on the shark.

"The shark went insane, beat the boat up pretty good," DiPietri said.Soon, the crew realized the teeth were triangular, "which made me just like jumping up and down because then I went and looked and -- poor Rich had to hold the shark by himself -- saw that it was a great white.The shark was six-and-a-half-feet long and an estimated weight of 200 pounds.

Fishermen said the New Jersey coast is known as a nursery for great whites. It's believed that the sharks arrive in the spring and are staying later this year because of the large amount of bait fish in the area.The rare chance of an encounter was causing some swimmers to shutter."I saw all the 'Jaws,' one, two and three, and every time they went out there they got in trouble," beachgoer Ted Ferraioli said, pointing out to the waves.

"If they'd stayed over here, they wouldn't have been in trouble. But, no, they had to go out there. And when you hear that music, you never go out there.""It wouldn’t have kept me out, not at all, not in the slightest -- unless he's coming alongside me. I might leave then. After all, it is their water," swimmer Susan Luckhorst said.And now, the shark is DiPietri's unexpected and unbelievable memory."I've been so stoked for the last week-and-a-half, I can't tell you," he said.


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