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Spear fisherman records tense encounter with hungry nurse shark

By Ben Hooper
Spear fisherman records tense encounter with hungry nurse shark
A nurse shark makes a play for a spear fisherman's hogfish. Screenshot: Storyful

POMPANO BEACH, Fla., July 6 (UPI) -- A spear fisherman off the Florida coast captured video of his tense encounter with a nurse shark that had eyes on his catch.

Sean O'Connor, who posted the video to YouTube, said he was spear fishing with his girlfriend and others Friday when the nurse shark took an interest in the hogfish he caught.

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O'Connor recounted the experience in his YouTube post. He wrote:

"I had just shot a hogfish with my new Evolve Polespear and was trying to get him on my crappy stringer which had a fish on it already. My girlfriend Caro was feeling nauseous and was cramping up badly so I was trying to make sure she was alright while juggling her spear and mine... and the fish I just shot. The crappy stringer was all tangled up so I dropped the spears to be able put the fish on the stringer. I had seen the nurse shark under the ledge before going after the hog...and didn't think too much about it because they are usually tame and just stay put.

My buddy Aaron had just shot his first first ever and literally just asked me if we would have any problems with the shark and I said usually not as soon as those words were said I see him look down and yell something....I look down a second later and it's coming straight for me.

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I start swimming backwards trying to keep it away with my fins and I realize the crappy stringer (yes this thing annoyed the crap out of me) is wrapped around my arm and the dead fish is on my body and the hog was in my hand. I'm swimming fast...so fast half my body is lunging out of the water, trying to untangle the stringer and fish from my arm, keep the hog out of the water, while kicking the shark who is trying to bite me and my fins. After what felt like eternity I was finally able to get untangled but the shark kept trying to bite me.

Finally after fending it off many times it stopped and went back and started eating my fish and entire stringer."

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