Great White behind fatal attack?

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Could a Great White Shark been behind the fatal attack of a kite boarder Wednesday?

Palm Beach Atlantic University Biology Professor Gary Goss says shark attacks are extremely rare.

Even more rare, an attack by a Great White, the most feared beast of the ocean which can be 20 feet long and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. That's more than a pick-up.

"Great whites in our area are very uncommon. They are mostly in deep waters where it's colder. There has never been an attack here by a white shark," said Goss.

Because of the severity of the wounds that killed the 38-year-old kite board surfer, some are speculating juvenile Great Whites, which tend to be six to eight feet long, may have been in the area migrating through Florida's east coast during winter.

Could the shark have mistaken the kite board surfer for a sea turtle? "That's the only situation where big sharks which hunt sea turtles could have mistaken it for a surfer. That's a white shark situation."

The professor says the shark in this attack is most likely a bull shark, known for being aggressive.

Regardless what type of shark struck this time, experts say, you are more likely to drown in the ocean from a rip current than die from a shark attack.