A hammerhead shark video that went viral in late June didn't tell the real story. A Navarre Beach pier manager said it was not on the attack but looking to escape after being injured by a pier angler.
Navarre Beach, Florida (PNJ) -- Fish stories usually get bigger with each telling.
But that's not the case when it comes to the hammerhead shark made famous through a chilling video shot in late June by vacationer Dan Flynn, who captured the hammerhead darting at swimmers at Navarre Beach, with bystanders screaming "Get out of the water."
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Stephanie Maddox, a manager at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, recounts the recent sighting of a hammerhead shark from the shark's point of view.
The scene and stories spinning out of the incident seemed to be ripped from the pages of a "Jaws" script. Everyone was convinced the shark was more than 10 feet long and hunting down the women.
Then the women in the water contacted the Pensacola News Journal to tell their gripping story, about how they tried to keep calm while slowly making their way to shore amid a crescendo of screams every time the shark swam their way.
Janet Rhuems, 50, of Frontenac, Kan., and her best friend Karen Jameson, 52, of Cherokee, Kan., later realized the shark was not actually on the attack, but possibly just curious. Shark experts who viewed the video gone viral confirmed it was not in attack mode.
And the size of the shark shrank down to an estimated 6½ feet.
Now, we've learned another side of the story, basically from the shark's point of view told by the pier's manager and marine-life lover Stephanie Maddox.
"The shark actually was hurt," Maddox said. "A child had hooked him ... ripped his whole side with a cobia jig."
Maddox witnessed the event and snapped photos.
"He wasn't aggressive. He was just trying to get his bearings and go back out to sea," she said. "He circled a couple of people in the water. All he was trying to do was get away."
She hated the way the shark was being portrayed.
"He was just a little guy ... about 5½ feet," she said. "And he was scared. I'm grateful he got away and made the news."