Diver has close encounter with great white shark off Port Canaveral

Joe Penovich describes incident as scene from 'Jaws'


PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – A Central Florida fisherman is recounting his close encounter with what he says was a great white shark off Port Canaveral.

Joe Penovich, his 19-year-old daughter, and a friend, Zack Spurlock, were spearfishing off the coast of Port Canaveral Saturday when they encountered what appeared to be a 12-foot shark.

"I couldn't believe what I was watching," said Penovich. "My voice is cracking and shaking. This thing was enormous and it had no fear."

Penovich said it was a great white shark, the largest predatory fish on Earth.

"Wow, those guys are so brave," said Kelly Richardson as she watched the YouTube video the crew put up Thursday. 

Penovich is the owner of Grills, a restaurant in Port Canaveral. They were about 20 miles southeast of Port Canaveral spearing for lionfish for the restaurant.

Spurlock was on his third dive when he saw the shark.

"He came up and said, 'Hand me the Go Pro, there's a great white shark on the bottom.' I said, 'Are you sure about this?'" Penovich said.

"I really wouldn't want to be in the water," said Andrew Dibenedetto, 9, as he watched the YouTube video.

The video was posted Thursday and has more than 600 views.

"Honestly, it was like a scene out of 'Jaws,'" said Penovich.

While the sighting is rare, Penovich said fishermen are seeing them more often.