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Two 12-foot great white sharks spotted off Georgia ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Researchers study great white sharks off Florida Keys

Researchers with the conservation group Osearch said two great white sharks they tagged last year off South Carolina were tracked swimming off Key West earlier this month.
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Researchers with the conservation group Osearch said two great white sharks they tagged last year off South Carolina were tracked swimming off Key West earlier this month.

Two 12-foot great white sharks are being tracked by researchers off Georgia, just as thousands of people head to the beaches for Memorial Day weekend.

At 12 feet, both sharks are essentially longer than a Fiat 500.

The largest of the two is 12 feet, 5 inches long and weighed 1,668 pounds when it was tagged in 2016 by OCEARCH. It showed up May 18 off Georgia’s Cumberland Island, part of the National Park system, reports OCEARCH.

The smaller of the two, named Hilton by OCEARCH, showed up on tracking Thursday at 4:06 p.m. It was lingering off the popular tourist destination of Sapelo Island, tracking showed. It's also 12-feet, 5-inches, but weighs a slightly smaller 1,326 pounds, says OCEARCH.

Great whites can grow to 15 feet on average, according to National Geographic. However, researchers have documented some as long as 21 feet, says the Discovery Channel's Sharkopedia.

Known as the “king of sharks,” great whites have a "bite force" of 4,000 pounds per square inch, says Sharkopedia.com.

They are blamed for one third to as much as half of the annual shark attacks on humans in the world, according to National Geographic.

“Great whites are fearsome predators,” says Sharkopedia.com. “Intelligent and efficient, they hunt with speed, force, and deadly precision…(using) 300 large, triangular teeth, measuring to two or even two and a half inches in length.”

To get the latest location of the sharks, visit OCEARCH.org.

Jei Turrell, 10, recounts at Memorial Medical University Hospital in Savannah, Ga. on Monday, May 14, 2018 about getting bitten by a shark the day before while swimming on Hilton Head Island.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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