Kyle Morningstar and his friend Ian Smith were quietly catching red snapper and other fish last Saturday when they suddenly noticed a large gray spot in the water that began to approach their boat.
When it emerged, they realized it was a great white shark.
The two men began shouting expletives at the sight of the shark that circled their 23-foot-long vessel in the waters of Ponce Inlet in Volusia County, on the east coast of Florida.
Morningstar filmed the encounter with the shark and later published it on his Instagram account.
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“Holy (expletive) (expletive),” Morningstar and his friend Ian Smith are heard shouting. “Oh my (expletive) God, bro.”
Morningstar, 31, of Port Orange, said when the anchor began to rise he saw a group of remora fish moving quickly toward what looked like a large gray spot, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“I was just in shock,” he said. “When it circled a second time I was shouting and yelling to my friend to get the phone and shoot the video.”
Morningstar estimated that the shark was 12 to 15 feet long, and that it was more than half the size of his boat.
“We ran around our boat and that monster shark just circled around us, did two laps just checking us out,” he said. “It was not scared.
Morningstar said the chilling music of the movie “Jaws” “almost came to his head” and he could not help thinking “we are going to need a bigger boat,” he said.
“After it disappeared, we hurried to get ashore,” he said.
George Burgess, an international expert on sharks, said it is the right time of year for such encounters in waters off the central coast of Florida.
He explained that the fish that swim with the shark are a combination of remora and cobia. The remora, usually two to two-and-a-half feet long, “gives you an idea of how big the shark really is,” he said.