By Stefanie Bainum
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Sink your teeth into this! A 16-foot-long great white shark was tracked, swimming off the coast of Charleston's Harbor this week. The 3,456 pound shark is named Mary Lee and was tagged up in Cape Cod, Massachusetts back in September.
The tracking website had Mary Lee near Daniel Island over the weekend, but Department of Natural Resources officials say that was not likely the case for the open-ocean species. They say it was probably just a satellite tracking glitch-- as you have to take tracking devices with a grain of salt, and can't always count on their precise accuracy.
"We get them in our waters and they are more of a colder shark. As the waters cool off you would expect it is the time of year where they might show up," said Mel Bell of the Department of Natural Resources.
As of Thursday morning, Mary Lee was tagged off the coast of Georgia near the Florida/Georgia border. Officials say the shark is most likely heading down south to warmer waters to have her pups.
"We don't particularly see a lot of them. This is a fairly big size one; it's the largest one I've ever heard of being reported off South Carolina," Bell said.
The last spotted great white shark washed up on Morris Island back in 2008. According to Bell, that one was measured 13 feet.
"They are considered a very dangerous shark because of their feeding habits and they have been associated with fatalities," Bell said.
The tagged Mary Lee is currently one of the biggest ever recorded sharks to frequent the Lowcountry.