Alert: Always Check For Great Sharks Before Swimming In The Ocean… OMG!

My buddies Alex Fogg, Joe Kistel and I had been filming and collecting lionfish at various sites in the Gulf southwest of St. George Island FL. We had been taking turns with Alex and Joe diving together while I dove solo. This was my third and final dive of the day on a man-made structure in 93′ feet of water approximately 22 miles due south of St. Vincent Island.

The shark enters the camera’s field of view at 3:48 and a moment later catches my eye. I instantly recognized it as great white and you can faintly hear me say “Oh my God”. I estimate the fish was 35′ or so below me. It spooked me in that it had approached from behind and had already passed me when I saw it.


Check For Great Sharks Before Swimming In The Ocean

I watched until it swam out of sight then re-cocked my speargun which I usually unload when heading back to the boat as a safety precaution. I glanced around looking for the shark and up at the boat to make sure the dive ladder was indeed down. I noticed a small lionfish had escaped from my bag and was swimming down and you can hear me say “oh no”.

The bag of lionfish was positively buoyant and it drifted into me dragging the stringer of mangroves with it. I moved it out of the way and kept scanning the water column below. My first two dives had been to 120′ and I had pushed this dive at 93′ to my limit of bottom time.

I needed to do this safety stop to avoid the bends, so I stayed where I was while my computer counted down the required 3 minutes. I took another quick look at my boat and another at my computer which shows me at 15′ below the surfac. VIA – grayshep


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