Shark Trouble

Great white shark speeds toward Texas coast — to the surprise of researchers

Great white shark speeds toward Texas — to the surprise of researchers

Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine, a great white shark, was tagged off Cape Cod. Ocearch/YouTube.com
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Researchers tagged Katharine in August 2013. Ocearch/YouTube.com
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine off the coast of Cape Cod in August 2013. Ocearch/YouTube.com
Katharine shark great white location June 17, 2014
Katharine's most recent location as tracked by Ocearch. Osearch.com
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine was captured in August 2013. Osearch.com
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013
Katharine shark great white location June 17, 2014
Katharine shark great white capture August 2013

The famous line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" could become a reality this summer in Texas when the region experiences a real-life, 21st century version of the American classic Jaws.

Great white shark Katharine appears headed for the Texas coast, according to researchers. Experts have been tracking the 14-foot shark, which was tagged in August 2013 off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. At the time of her tagging, Katharine weighed 2,300 pounds and measured 14 feet, 2 inches long. Scientists predict that she has grown even more since.

If Katharine stays on the path researchers expect her to, she will pass the Mississippi River next week. A week after that? She'll be off the coast of Texas.

Researchers have also been tracking a great white shark named Betsy, who was also tagged last August off Cape Cod. Betsy, who is not as big as Katharine, weighed 1,400 pounds and came in at 12 feet, 7 inches.

"Every track is giving us new information and going contrary to all the assumptions that we were going on," Dr. Robert Hueter, director of the center for shark research at Mote Marine Laboratory, told the Houston Chronicle. "Having them in the Gulf is something we thought happened in the wintertime."

Beachgoers and those curious to know where Katharine is at all times can track her path on Ocearch; her last signal was picked up off southwest Panama City, Florida. That means she has now traveled almost 5,000 miles since being tagged just 10 months ago.

So the next time you're off the coast of Texas floating in the water, a great white shark could be closer to you than you think.