Great White Shark spotted off the coast of Wrightsville Beach

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Some local fishermen were hoping for a big catch off the coast of Wrightsville Beach, but the weren't prepared for what they caught.

Sunday, Michael Ross and a friend were fishing for tuna when all of a sudden a giant dorsal fin appeared from the depths of the ocean.

"As we approached this thing, this shark just got bigger and bigger," explained Ross.

That's when Ross reached for his cell phone and started snapping photos of what he says was a 16-18 foot Great White Shark.

"We were nervous - I was shaking," said Ross.  "We both kept saying the same things over and over.  We just kept shaking."

While Ross said the event was nerve racking, he also said it was exhilarating and the most amazing thing he's ever witnessed on the water.

Shark expert Paul Barrington at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher took a look at the pictures and confirmed Ross and his friend had come across a Great White.  He says the ocean temperature is just how the sharks like it.

"This is a good temperature for them - when the water temperatures drop below 70 and the mid to low 60," said Barrington.

Though it may be unusual to find a Great White off the Carolina Coast, Barrington says it's not infrequent.

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