A sheriff in Florida takes video of shark-infested waterways.

A sheriff in Florida takes video of shark-infested waterways.

A sheriff in Florida takes video of shark-infested waterways.
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Aerial footage depicting hundreds of sharks hovering in the seas off the Gulf Coast near Tampa was published by a Florida sheriff’s office last week as a warning to swimmers. The sharks were seen swimming around the Anclote Sandbar and Anclote Island in a video recorded by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s aircraft unit. The county of Pasco is located north of Tampa.

“A day in the water is a wonderful way to escape the heat in Florida,” the sheriff’s office noted, “but it’s vital to be mindful of the risks below the water as well as above.”

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the island is part of a group of barrier islands located a few miles offshore where bull sharks, blacktip sharks, lemon sharks, and big hammerheads are known to live.

While the sheriff’s office did not specify which shark species was captured on film, WTVJ stated that they were most likely blacktip sharks, which can grow to be 6.5 feet long.

According to NOAA Fisheries, the torpedo-shaped shark is notable for “leaping and whirling out of the water while preying on schools of fish.” When not mating, the species forms huge groups divided between men and females. From March to June is mating season.

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The sheriff’s office included the following water safety suggestions in the video: stay aware of your surroundings; learn to swim and always swim with a friend; carry a fully charged phone and first aid kit nearby in case of an emergency and never leave children unattended in or near water.

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