“I was literally terrified,” Dominic Cameratta’s daughter Ella tells PEOPLE of the possible shark sighting in a neighbor’s backyard in Fort Myers, Florida
A shark may have gotten too close to a family in Florida looking for solace during the fury of Hurricane Ian.
On Wednesday morning, Dominic Cametta looked out his window at rising water levels near his home in Fort Myers, Florida. He started taking videos to show his neighbors how high the water was in his garden, but he noticed something big moving in the water.
“I see this thing flopping around in there, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’ and I zoom in,” Dominic, a 43-year-old real estate developer, tells PEOPLE of the possible shark nearby. “The way it was swimming was scary. It was moving side to side.”
After sending the video to his friends, Dominic says, “People were like, ‘That’s unbelievable. I think that was a shark!’ “
Though Dominic admits he isn’t a shark expert — or even a fish expert — his wife Elizabeth and daughter Ella were both convinced the animal was indeed a shark. “I was literally terrified,” Ella, 15, says.
Dominic tells that one of his friends also told him that the creature looks like it could’ve specifically been a bull shark.
He said, ‘Dom, I’m telling you, I think that’s a bull shark because those bull sharks can get up through brackish water. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is,’ ” Dominic says. “So I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy.’ “
During the day, the one-story family watches the water rise and decides whether to ride out the storm inside or go outside knowing something called a shark might be waiting for them.
“You’re faced with this terrifying decision, because we only have a one-story house,” Dominic says. “Do you go to the roof? Do we go to our neighbors who were inviting us to come over if we needed to go to their second story?”
But then you have to go through this water that you literally know a shark is probably in it, not to mention all the snakes, and the current. It’s crazy,” he continues.
Dominic said he, his daughter and his wife weathered the storm at home.
He added that his 18-year-old son, Joey, a student at Ole Miss, is worried about the family. put on a life jacket.
“Our neighbors were walking in neck-deep water to go to other neighbors’ houses that have a second story,” Elizabeth, 42 — a stay-at-home mom . “We were freaking out. We were like, ‘Oh my God. They’re swimming over there. There’s snakes and sharks in that water. … It’s really scary. It really was like a horror movie.’ ”
Dominic, who doesn’t use social media beyond LinkedIn, said a friend posted a video of him on Twitter and it went viral.
“I’m listening to people everywhere. I’m overhearing conversations with people like, ‘Did you hear there was a shark on the streets?’ ” he says. “It’s so crazy. It’s unbelievable.”