Raleigh man's video of 'nerve-wracking' shark encounter goes viral
Posted March 18, 2014
Updated March 19, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man had an unbelievably close encounter with a shark last week in the Cayman Islands – and it was all caught on video.
Jason Dimitri says he was collecting lionfish about 65 feet underwater on March 13 when a 6-foot Caribbean reef shark repeatedly charged him.
Luckily, the 33-year-old former deputy with the Wake County Sheriff's Office, had a spear to keep the creature at bay as he tried to ascend to the water's surface.
Dimitri says that his law enforcement training kicked in, reminding him how to react quickly under pressure.
"I actually wanted to go see sharks in the water here," he said in a telephone call Tuesday. "I just never expected this type of encounter."
Dimitri captured the close call on video and later uploaded it to YouTube. As of Tuesday afternoon, the three-minute clip had more than 1.3 million views.
"Obviously, from the video, you can see it scared the you-know-what out of me," he said. "It definitely was very nerve-wracking until it was over."
Despite the scary experience, he adds it's made him more intrigued with sharks.
Dimitri and his wife have been studying to be dive instructors for the past six months.
They plan to return to Raleigh next month, and he hopes to return to his job at the sheriff's office – which might turn out to be a whole lot safer than his current job.