A great white shark nearly as long as a car and weighing more than 1,000 pounds was spotted off the North Carolina coast this weekend.
Hilton, the 12.5-foot, 1,326-pound mature male great white shark, was spotted just off Cape Lookout on Saturday, according to the OCEARCH research group tracker. For comparison, the average Toyota Camry or Honda Civic is about 15 feet long.
North Carolina has averaged about two to three shark attacks per year for the past 14 years and has not had a fatal attack since 2001. The United States has averaged about 41 attacks per year since 2001, according to the international shark attack file at the University of Florida.
Hilton has been tracked near North and South Carolina dozens of times since he was tagged by OCEARCH on March 3.
Within 72 hours, Hilton had traveled more than 224 miles up the North Carolina coast from South Carolina.
Hilton was named for Hilton Head, S.C., where he was caught and tagged.
The sharks are tracked by “pings.” When a tagged shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface, it transmits a signal to a satellite, which then sends geographical data.
For more information on Hilton, go to www.ocearch.org/profile/hilton.