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Tagged Great White tracking toward our coast


FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) -- A Great White shark is just off the coast of Myrtle Beach. Now some folks in our area are wondering if a scene from "Jaws" could be coming to our coast.

Mary Lee is a 16-foot, two-ton Great White shark. She was first satellite tagged by scientists in Cape Cod in September. In just three months, she has made it all the way down the eastern seaboard and is making her way back north.

Shark experts at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher say sharks are not uncommon in our waters.

"For every animal we've got a satellite tag on there may up to a hundred more," shark expert Paul Barrington said.

But for some, this shark's path is a little too close for comfort. Mary Lee's spotting so close to land and so close to us has some wondering if the two-ton Great White could be paying a visit to our coast.

"We may see her up in this neck of the woods very shortly in the next couple of weeks," Barrington said.

So if you do spot mary in the water, what should you do?

"It takes a very strong-willed individual: punch it in the nose," Barrington said. "If I was forced in that position, keep it in the back of your mind."

People at Fort Fisher Beach say that's good in theory.

"A lot of their sensory organs are in the nose, so it might stun it, but once it takes a bite, you might as well kiss it goodbye," Brian Clayton said.

But most say there's only one thing they will do for sure if they come face to face with Mary Lee: yell for help.

At last check, Mary Lee was almost off the coast of our state. You can keep tabs on Mary Lee online at the Ocearch website.

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