Paul Dabill, 49, was spearfishing with a friend off the Florida coast when they had a “very rare” encounter with the great white shark, with the footage showing the predator just a few feet away
The hair-raising moment a pair of divers found themselves almost within touching distance of a great white shark has been caught on camera.
Paul Dabill, 49, was spearfishing with a friend off the Florida coast when they realised they weren’t the only ones hunting in the water. They said they had a “very rare” encounter with the great white shark, with the footage showing the predator just a few feet away.
Paul said he has been diving for around 15 years and always wanted to see one. He said it’s extremely rare and there’s only been a couple in the last few years, so he is “very luckily and thankful” for the experience.
Sharing his footage online, the diver also discovered that the shark in question was still unknown to experts. He said: “I was contacted by someone with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy group – they keep a catalogue of all the great whites in the western Atlantic area.
“They studied my video footage and said that this shark had not been identified by them before. So they added the shark to the database and they gave me the chance to name the shark, so I named it after my six-year-old son Trenton.”
Paul continued: “I speared an amberjack, and then shortly after my friend – who was in the water – saw the great white shark. How safe is it to spearfish around a great white? Well if there’s a fish that is shot and bleeding, and struggling, then any sharks in the area would likely be aggressive and try to get the speared fish. But that wasn’t the case.”
He continued: “I left the speared fish on the boat and then we had about 10 minutes to dive with the shark. The water was very clear and the shark was very calm.”
Mr Dabill estimates that the predator was some 12 feet long. He’s wanted to see one in the wild for over a decade and believes the encounter was worth the wait.