Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Great White Tale Surfaces off Charleston

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Great White Tale Surfaces off Charleston

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, The Times-Union

Northeast Florida fishermen and divers aren't the only ones along the Atlantic Coast who have had recent run-ins with great white sharks.

In response to a story on great whites in last Sunday's T-U, reader Bates Hagood sent along a story that appeared on Jan. 6 in the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, S.C.

Two men were fishing about 10 miles off the Charleston jetties when they encountered a great white estimated to be at least 23 feet long, according to the newspaper. The shark came within a few feet of the anglers' 24-foot boat.

The owner of the boat, marine towing company manager Mark Beasenburg, said he had never seen anything like it.

"I've seen a 1,500-pound tiger shark, and this one made that shark look like a Yugo compared to a semi truck," Beasenburg told the newspaper.

The other angler, Danny Mixon, said at one point the shark swam toward the boat at 4-5 knots like a submarine, then suddenly stopped only inches from the twin outboards.

"He looked at us for about five seconds," Mixon said. "It was a scary thing. . . . Its head was larger than the two twin Johnson 150 [outboard motors]. We thought he was going to eat the boat."

The shark was the largest ever reported to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

GILL NET INFORMATION SOUGHT

Law enforcement officers are seeking information on the owner of a 250-yard gill net found off St. Lucie Inlet with hundreds of decaying sharks and a loggerhead turtle captured in its mesh.

The "ghost net" was found abandoned 8 miles offshore on Jan. 15. The sea turtle is a threatened species and the fine for killing one could be as much as $50,000.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the toll-free Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-FWCC or NOAA Fisheries at (321) 269-0004. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

GEORGIA MEETINGS SET

Changes in dove season and areas in which alligators may be hunted are among the proposals that will addressed at four public meetings on Georgia's 2004-2005 hunting season. …

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