Wednesday, February 21, 2024

12-foot-long great white shark ‘passing through’ southern Virginia waters

A nearly 12-foot-long great white shark named Yeti was tracked off of the Eastern Shore on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14, 2017. (Courtesy of OCEARCH)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A nearly 12-foot-long great white shark was tracked swimming off the coast of the Eastern Shore on Thursday morning — and it looks like her path is taking her south.

Yeti, a 960-pound shark who’s still growing, was tracked by OCEARCH heading south along the Eastern Shore between 10 and 30 miles away from Hog Island between 6:18 a.m. on Wednesday and 10:27 a.m. on Thursday.

OCEARCH is an organization that specializes in tracking and studying marine animals, especially great white and tiger sharks. After a shark is discovered, it gets a name, a Twitter account, the #DontFearTheFin hashtag and becomes part of the OCEARCH family. The organization is able to track the sharks in real time and uses the data to learn more about their patterns and behaviors.

When a shark pings, it means that their fin has broken the surface of the water and sent a signal to a satellite.

Yeti was tagged by OCEARCH on Oct. 7, 2016 in Nantucket, Mass. Since that time, she’s swum more than 3,100 miles up and down the eastern United States, traveling as far south as Savannah, Ga. where she pinged last year on Dec. 11.

According to a tweet sent from Yeti’s account on Dec. 13, the immature female great white shark is just “passing through” Virginia, which would indicate a similar path as the one she took last year in the winter months

In November of 2016, Yeti was tracked coming in much closer to Hogs Island than where she’s currently traveling, according to the OCEARCH map.

Yeti is just one of several sharks who have passed through eastern Virginia’s waters in the last six months.

In July, a 12-foot-long great white shark named Hilton was tracked about 20 miles off of the Oceanfront. On Nov. 8, Hudson — a small guy at just 5-feet-long and about 66 pounds — pinged off of the Virginia Beach shoreline.

A nearly 12-foot-long great white shark named Yeti was tracked off of the Eastern Shore on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14, 2017. (Courtesy of OCEARCH)

 This story was published in partnership with our sister paper, Southside Daily.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

Related Articles