At first glance, it could be a scene from a movie.
A swimmer kicks her way through the beautiful emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm, relatively deserted and clear. So clear, in fact, that from above, you can see a dark shape lurking just outside her eye line with the familiar silhouette of a shark.
All that’s missing is the ominous music.
“You don’t want to write what I was thinking,” joked Stan Battles, who filmed the encounter from his 28th floor balcony at Tidewater Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla., Wednesday morning. “I just didn’t want the girl to get hurt.”
Battles had just spent the better part of the morning watching the shark loop in figure 8′s through the muck and sea grass for about two hours. It mostly stayed hidden, he said, darting back into the cloudy water if it ventured into the clearer space.
Until the woman swam by.
“The woman swims directly over this thing,” Battles said. “Directly over it.”
And that’s when Battles started recording. The video shows the woman swimming along, blissfully unaware that she’s picked up a follower. The shark breaks its pattern and takes a wide circle to check her out, staying a good distance away but definitely curious. At one point, about midway through the video, the shark swims too far ahead and then turns back heading directly for her, lazily snaking through the water.
“It was just kind of crazy,” Battles said. “Everyone on the beach, in the water, they had no clue.”
About two minutes into the video, though, someone else sees the shark. A chorus of calls break out, trying to get the woman’s attention and let her know there’s a shark nearby. Once she realizes they’re calling to her, she startles, then heads, rather quickly, back in to shore.
Battles said he rushed down to the beach to find the woman. He talked to her a little bit about it, then showed her the video.
“She never saw it,” he said. “She was just like, ‘I think I’m done with the ocean.’ ”
He then uploaded the video to Facebook, where it’s been shared nearly 2,500 times.
“It was crazy,” he added. “I’m just glad no one got hurt.”