WATCH: Basking shark seen at Panama City Beach Florida fishing pier

11:58 AM, Mar 22, 2011   |    comments
A basking shark is seen feeding near a fishing pier in Panama City Beach while a kayaker looks on.
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Panama City Beach, Florida -- Some kayakers and fishermen got an up-close look at one of the world's largest sharks last week.

A basking shark was seen feeding in the waters near the Bay County Pier on Panama City Beach.  Captain Linda Cavitt caught video of the giant marine animal, which you can watch below.

In the video, the animal approaches a kayaker, and appears to be at least as long as the 14-foot kayak.  Cavitt then took pictures as the kayaker jumped into the water to swim with the shark.

Photo gallery: Kayaker swims with basking shark

Basking sharks are the second-largest species of shark alive today, but are harmless to humans and usually feed on plankton. On an online message board, Cavitt speculated the shark may have been feeding on tiny blue krill and plankton that she saw swimming and jumping out of the water in the same area a few days later.

The sharks are usually found in more temperate waters, so seeing one off the shores of Florida is a rare sight.

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