Large manta ray swims right up to paddleboarder off Indian Rocks Beach
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. - Floridians are used to seeing a variety of wildlife in the Sunshine State, but we don't usually get this close of a view.
A large manta ray swam right up to Bryant Ransom as he was on his paddleboard off Indian Rocks Beach on Friday.
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The video shows the ray gliding on the surface of the water toward the paddleboard, ultimately coming within inches as it passed by.
This is the second manta ray sighting off Pinellas County this month alone.
(Courtesy: Bryant Ransom)
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On April 13, Michael McCarty with See Through Canoe Company had an encounter with a large ray just 50 feet away from the shores of St. Pete.
"Even though I spend a lot of time on the water, this is the first manta ray I've seen here in the St. Pete area," McCarty told FOX 13. "I've seen them in other parts of Florida, but never so close to shore."
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According to NOAA, manta rays can reach a wingspan of 29 feet, and have been found worldwide, both in oceanic waters and within bays and intercoastal waterways.
Experts said they have been seen in waters with temperatures as low as 66.2 degrees and as high as 86 degrees.
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