Great white shark off Florida coast near Palm Beach’s Breakers Hotel

Great white shark off Florida coast near Palm Beach's Breakers Hotel


Tuesday, during a dive charter trip on Walker’s Dive Charters out of Riviera Beach, Florida, a group of scuba divers encountered a once-in-a-lifetime experience — a great white shark.

The encounter took place near a spot known as The Breakers Reef, a location just one mile offshore of the famous Breakers Hotel on Palm Beach.

During the dive, an estimated 20-foot-long great white shark slowly drifted by near the bottom, enabling divers to get photos and brief video.

On average, female great white sharks measure 15-16 feet in length, while males tend to grow to 11-13 feet, according to the Smithsonian.

There was pretty good visibility during the dive, so it was easy for divers to get photos and video without spooking the shark. The shark had no visible satellite tag affixed to it’s dorsal fin so it was not a shark tagged by OCEARCH.

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Great white sharks are being observed by divers once or twice a year off the coast of South Florida.

Many on the trip were thrilled with the encounter.

“Today all of my dreams came true and I got to hang out on the reef with a Great White Shark!!! Best Day ever!!” wrote Margaux Frankel on her Facebook page.

Diver Jim Cocci echoed her excitement. 

“Only need two words to describe diving West Palm with Walker’s Dive Charters today: Great White!” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Last year, a group of spearfishermen saw one in 80 feet of water off Jupiter. OCEARCH tagged sharks ping off the coast of Florida each winter as they make their way into the Gulf of Mexico.

The great white shark observed by 11 divers off the Breakers Reef in Palm Beach is seen cruising north. It was estimated to be 20 feet in length.

‘They were bouncing off the walls’

Capt. Bill Walker of Walker’s Dive Charters said the great white shark sighting was the first for one of his charters in 27 years of operation. There were 11 divers on the trip and all were able to get a glimpse of the big shark.

“When they surfaced, they were bouncing off the walls,” Walker said. He said the divers were in 55 feet of water. It was the second dive of the day. The first was offshore of Mar-A-Lago.


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