MIAMI (WSVN) – Two fishermen witnessed a gigantic and stunning sight off Key Biscayne — a massive whale shark — and recorded their close encounter with marine life on video.
Alex Abreu and Matthew Pawlik said they were awestruck by the majestic creature while they were out fishing a few miles away from Stiltsville, Sunday.
Cellphone video first seen on Only in Dade captured the whale shark just under the surface.
“Right here, right here, right here, with its mouth open!” one of the men is heard saying.
“Oh, my God. I saw the biggest mouth I’ve ever seen coming out of the ocean,” said Abreu.
It was a sudden but welcome disruption from their fishing expedition.
“When we approached, there happened to be this giant mouth sticking out of the water,” said Abreu.
Instead of speeding away, Pawlik said he felt compelled to get a closer look.
“I knew that I had to dive in with this fish,” he said. “I just stripped down to my underwear, and I launched right into the water and almost jumped on top of him and was just trying to focus in on this beautiful fish.”
Pawlik jumped into the water and captured and up close and personal view of the whale shark.
The marine creature lives up north but migrates through Florida waters in the winter.
“Your heart’s pumping, your blood’s flowing,” said Pawlik, “but it’s not so much fear as it is excitement in just to be able to experience diving in with a shark.”
After about 45 seconds, their once-in-a-lifetime experience swam away, leaving both fishermen in shock and with a big story to tell.
“It was just amazing to see. It was just like finding a unicorn,” said Pawlik.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Abreu. “I’ve seen bottlenose dolphins runnin in massive quantities, but I’ve never seen a whale shark.”
No one was hurt during the filming of the encounter.
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