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Nearly 1,000-pound great white shark pings off Florida coast

Ironbound swims off coast of Melbourne

File photo.
File photo.

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Greetings from Melbourne! Sincerely, Ironbound the shark.

A week before Christmas, Ironbound, a 12-foot,4-inch great white shark, pinged at 7:25 a.m. Dec. 18 off the coast of Melbourne. Two days before that the 998-pound shark pinged at 9:05 a.m. off the coast of Canaveral National Seashore, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

Will the great white shark stay in Brevard waters through Christmas? Time will tell.

According to its Ocearch tracker, this is the first time Ironbound has pinged here. The shark advocacy and research group notes Ironbound as its 53rd great white shark "spot-tagged" in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Ironbound, tagged Oct. 3 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, got its moniker from West Ironbound Island, near Lunenburg. He pinged for the first time five days later.

Last month, a 12-foot, 2-inch great white shark named Sydney pinged at 11:25 a.m. Nov. 13 off Canaveral National Seashore. The 1,124-pound shark was tagged Sept. 15 at Scaterie Island, Nova Scotia, with its first ping recorded Sept. 22. He was the first great white shark tagged by Ocearch during its Nova Scotia expedition in fall 2019, according to the shark advocacy group.

Just for fun

Sharks "pinging" around the holidays isn't new, and it's *probably* coincidental. Here's a list of other holiday pings from Ocearch sharks.

• Miss May, a 10-foot, 2-inch-long great white shark, surfaced three times on the night of Cinco de Mayo at Patrick Air Force Base and Satellite Beach. If you're counting social media holidays, the great white pinged six times off Port Canaveral on May 4 (May the Fourth Be With You).

• DeMott, an 11-foot, 5-inch-long tiger shark, pinged off the coast of Melbourne a day before Thanksgiving 2018. The shark weighing 607 pounds pinged Nov. 21 off the coast of Melbourne and Palm Bay.

• Katharine, a 14-foot-long great white shark, pinged off the coast of Melbourne and then Palm Bay on Black Friday (Nov. 23, 2018).

• Savannah, an 8-foot, 6-inch great white shark, surfaced off the coast of Cocoa Beach on Memorial Day weekend 2018, specifically the evening of May 26.

• Hilton, a 1,326-pound great white shark, pinged off the coast of Titusville on April 1, 2018, (No joke, April Fool's Day).

• Miss Costa, a great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds, pinged off the coast of Melbourne and Titusville on Feb. 11, 2018, a few days before Valentine's Day. The 12-foot, 5-inch-long shark then pinged off the coast of Palm Bay and Sebastian that same day, then again between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach on Feb. 12.

• Savannah, an 8-foot great white shark weighing 460 pounds, pinged off Cape Canaveral on Jan. 1, 2018.

For more information on Ironbound, Sydney and other tagged sharks, visit ocearch.org.