Fishermen spot great white shark off coast of St. Augustine

Ocearch tracks Katherine's path near NE Fla.

Author: Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 12 2014 11:24:52 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2014 11:37:34 AM EST
Katherine the great white shark
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

Three local men survived to tell the tale of being confronted by a great white shark Tuesday off the coast of St. Augustine.

The shark is no stranger to northeast Florida waters. It's Katherine, a 2,300-pound great white that's been spotted in the area before.

She's being tracked by the sharks tracked by Ocearch.

Adam Vining now has an exciting story to tell and the video to prove it.

It all started Tuesday when he was fishing with some buddies about 26 miles off the coast of St. Augustine. He had his GoPro camera on.

"A group of us decided to go spear fishing yesterday while the weather was nice, and our first drop in, 100 feet, we got to the bottom and the great white started swimming toward us," Vining said.

He said Katherine is no threat to swimmers.

"I don't think they have any interest in us, you know," he said. "It just came over and wanted to take a look and see what all the commotion was about."

Vining's video shows the shark clearly, but as Vining said, she clearly didn't care the men were there because her visit was brief.

"We could see (her) coming," Vining said. "(She) was coming straight for us. That was a little scary, but then (she) turned and just went on about (her) business."

While the three were spear fishing, one took turns looking out while the others fished. But luckily there was no need to use the spears on anything other than the fish they were shooting.

"I shot at a fish and we missed, and so I wasn't loaded," Vining said. "I just wanted to have my spear in my gun ready in case it came over."

Vining said it's a great story and memory, one he's glad he could record.

"I'm really glad to have had the experience to see it," he said.

Looking at Ocearch's tracker, Katherine is now off the coast of Neptune Beach. She came from the Ormond Beach area Feb. 6 through the coast of St. Augustine, where she made an appearance at Vining's fishing trip.

She was last spotted off the coast of Jacksonville in January 2013.

If you want to track Katherine or other sharks, click here.